Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now flip flip flip Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

The Information
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.18+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 30 November 2016
Martin Amis’s The Information is not, as some reviewers claim, a fictionalized tell-all about the publishing industry. Instead, it is about human nature, e.g. jealousy, egomania, and revenge, and how authors, often held up as gurus or immortals, are just as petty and biologically driven as supposedly lower forms. The story involves two writers, Gwyn Barry and Richard Tull, both mid-life, both long-time friends, until a wedge is driven into their relationship when Gwyn pens a vacuous book (Amelior) the public finds deep and Richard…, well, Richard struggles, scraping by with book reviews and vanity publishing and hoping someone will read his unreadable novel (Untitled – that’s the title) while he lives off his wife’s earnings and spends much of his time drinking, smoking, and scheming against his much more successful one-time pal. During The Information, Amis often draws parallels between characters and events and various aspects of and theories in cosmology, perhaps to emphasize the pettiness or futility of human actions. These scientific forays and poetic analogies are themselves paralleled or countered by the rough talk of a group of East End goons that Richard calls on for some help. Amis’s prose in The Information is exquisite, nearly every sentence a crackling work of art. The novel is more subdued than Money or London fields, more mature, more consistent, more professional. The craftsmanship is just beautiful. The story, however,…. In a sense, it doesn’t matter. The prose is that exceptional, but I expected more to happen and agree with an old review from The Independent that in some ways the novel doesn’t really add up. Still, it’s hard to believe some consider this book bad. Amis is probably the finest writer in the English language since Shakespeare and this is one finely written novel. Maybe I would have liked to see more happen in the story, but The Information did what all Amis novels do: it made me want to read more Martin Amis.

Troy Parfitt is the author of War Torn: Adventures in the Brave New Canada
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 March 2016
We will always have Martin Amis's supreme London trilogy - Money, London Fields, The Information - even if the books that followed have not been so well received. Rereading The Information, I had almost forgotten (but the sensations had never left me, and were swiftly rekindled when I started reading) what an astonishing piece of writing this is. Who else alive has this writer's gift with language? Such power and vigour, such lyricism, mordancy, farcical humour, human understanding, knowledge of life and literature - all bundled together into a coruscating display of linguistic pyrotechnics. The Information made me laugh out loud a dozen times (and moved me close to tears on occasion, too). He understands, you see - he understands what it is to be a man (poor, pitiful object) in the modern world, and he shares this understanding in a unique way. Thanks, MA. Thanks for all.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 February 2017
bought by mistake-mine.it's in german!but i suppose it is o.k.-so five stars.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 6 May 2016
Weird and complex. Not a casual read
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 August 2016
Qucik delivery, solid packaging, quality as stated in the offer. I'm very pleased.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 12 March 2010
Let me start by saying that Martin Amis is quite brilliant, intellectually that is. His work is multi-layered and you'll discover a word you've never seen before every few pages, although he overdoes it - you don't need to call a speaker an 'interlocutor' unless it's Latin translation.
However this brilliance can dazzle and blind. Abstraction and metaphor are all very well but at times you are left wondering, 'what the heck's going on?'
Private Eye has said that Amis's novels are about Amis being very clever, period; and that's spot on.
In saying that I enjoyed The Information and it is of course brilliantly constructed, written and narrated.
However.... the story is about a successful writer and an unsuccessful writer (who earns a crust reviewing erudite literary pieces) both living in London.
Now, this is just Amis and his alter-ego! Indeed Amis was a reviewer for The New Statesman and others before he became famous and successful.
(I'm also reading Amis's 'Against Cliches', a compendium of his reviews where he trashes Waugh's Brideshead and only seems to hold Nabokov in any regard (hero worship in fact)).
Also in The Information are two little sons, one of whom has behavioural issues - just like Marmaduke the violent baby boy in London Fields (where the protagonist is also a writer).
London Fields and The Information also heavily feature Amis's star gazing. He loves to quote astronomical facts and figures. Interesting, yes, but he does it again in both books even describing a female's attractiveness as akin to a black hole's infinite gravitational pull: 'no one can escape me'.
You get the picture I'm sure.
So, the questions are these: Is Amis a great storyteller? No. Is he the master of the English novel? Probably. Is he worth reading? Definitely, but only selectively.
Less is more with the great man.
JP :)
2 people found this helpful
|11 Comment|Report abuse
on 17 June 2016
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 30 May 2015
Difficult to make any sense of
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 19 April 2014
A supremely gifted young man crippled by demons: that's how the author comes across in The Information.

Martin Amis is arguably the ablest writer in English since the war. Unfortunately, he is decidedly not a great novelist. His energy, intelligence and creative wit are unparalleled: nobody worries the language so determinedly, so responsibly: eliminating clichés, challenging all forms of sloppy or tired expression, forcing words to work to the greatest possible extent. Reading Amis's prose is at times as exhilarating as reading Chaucer or Shakespeare or Dickens: you feel the language being renewed, re-animated, taken in exciting new directions.

But although often he says it brilliantly, Amis has nothing to say. The Information is a less-disciplined rerun of Money, another excursion into boundless self-loathing and misanthropy. There is not a single human being in the book. Every character is a sounding board for Amis's myopic contempt for mankind; there is something Swiftian, pathological, in his spleen. Amis is not a satirist because there is nothing positive against which he measures the follies and vices of his various rogues, swindlers and fools. If there is an epic backcloth, it is provided by the half-digested cosmological data which convinces the novelist that human life is insignificant and meaningless.

Nihilism is contemptible not because it is grim and makes us feel uncomfortable but because it is manifestly sentimental: an escape from human responsibility into maudlin self-pity and cynicism. That so much work, such talent, should have been applied in the service of so slight a contribution to human understanding would be criminal if it didn't seem to be a case of arrested development. Whatever damaged the young Amis did the world a tragic disservice.

That said, anyone who wants to write well should read this book again and again; it is a primer in the effective exploitation of the language.
3 people found this helpful
|11 Comment|Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 March 2015
This is a sharp and clever story of rivalry and jealousy with plenty of humour. It's a little over written and at times he seems to get bogged down with his descriptions. His attempt at giving a convincing voice to working class people is hilarious in it's ignorance. Still, these are minor complaints because when all is said and done this is a damn good read from a damn good writer and certainly worth a read.
|0Comment|Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here