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which he is. sorry Vikram ;)
for people who are "on the verge of mental illness." Did you get one too?
Amsterdam I think it was called. Bit boring.
Go away and read The Rachel Papers and Time's Arrow and stop pretending that everyone needs to be your mate before they're allowed be brilliant. He didn't die with the South Bank Show you know.
Amsterdam was by Ian McEwan unless you're being funny in which case I don't get it.
I like Amsterdam though.
The problem I have with post-Atonement McEwan is that it reads like he's trying become a like Philip Roth by attempting to write a British version of the Great American Novel.
Whereas I admire Roth's ambition, and see his attempts to pull it off as a heroic failure, McEwan's efforts seem parochial, smug and closeted - he tries to find resonance and universal themes in a world, and characters, that are just too self-satisfied and self-absorbed to provide them.
except for The Rachel papers, and most evident in Money/London Fields/Time's Arrow which I think most people would say were the best three. Of course, Amis aped Bellow and Updike just as much as Roth but, you know, it's there. This constant desire to drop the baggage of English literature, and find a new, unashamedly Americanised idiom. He never manages it though - and part of what makes him so fascinating is his clear debt to the early English novel, and to Jane Austen in particular, as well as to the work of his father and his father's near-contemporaries (Waugh and Powell particularly). Although I think he'd prolly think of that as a bit of flaw himself...
As for McEwan. Atonement is obviously his great novel, but I would say that his work is the complete opposite of the way you've characterised it, certainly in On Chesil Beach and Saturday, which are both studies of character. Saturday in a clearly Modernist sense (Mrs Dalloway for the 21st century much?), and On Chesil Beach. Well, the whole point is that they ARE both parochial, they are studies of a character and historical moments in particular parochial circumstances and nothing else.
Atonement is the State of England novel, but that too is parochial, takes its inspiration from intensely parochial (though very good novels) and yeah. I couldn't agree less I don't think.
I've read The Rachel Papers and London Fields. Both amazing. The Rachel Papers less so.
Don't really get all the comments about him being style over substance - it's more than his writing is about writing, and the role of the novelist in modern experience and blah blah blah.
Pretty incredible tho.
An ambassador for the modern male and his primal need for love.
genuinely is a work of genius.
'cos I saw it for very little money in HMV a week or two back. I was only vaguely aware of who Amis was before and don't know any of the back story about him.
I quite like Money so far though.
than anyone seems to think it is.
and yet still seems to be at the height of his fame and notoriety, for which, I suppose he deserves some credit.
Oh, and Kingsley>Martin
it actually didn't make sense. thought it was me being retarded, but then googled a review afterwards where the reviewer wrote he had to re-start it twice just to understand, in terms of storyline, what was going on (like i did). amis must just be a massive cash cow to his publisher at this point.
saying that, rachael papers, london fields, dead babies, other people, money, are all great
have to get around to time's arrow
have a terrible copy of the information which must have been a bad print run, cos there's no punctuation in it
i like how mart wishes he was an american novelist really, but resolutely isn't.
is now a good time to dredge up Tibor Fischer's quote about Yellow Dog. I think so:
"It's like your favourite uncle being caught in a school playground, masturbating."
which inspired me to read it