London Fields (Magill's Literary Annual 1991-2005)
Martin Amis has rapidly become one of the leading satirists among contemporary novelists. In The Rachel Papers (1973), Dead Babies (1975), Success (1978), Other People: A Mystery Story (1981), and Money: A Suicide Note (1984), Amis lampoons the excesses of modern Fngland. He writes about the banality, brutality, and loneliness of urban life, about shallow people bored with all aspects of their extstence, including sex. His characters are neurotic and insecure, often question their own sanity, and are unable to communicate with one another. The son of conservative satirist Kingsley Amis, he finds humor in a violent world from a liberal perspective but is far from being didactic, often mocking his characters’ moral and political pretensions. London Fields is the major work toward which Amis has been building, one that effectively explores all of his themes.
Set sometime in the near future, London Fields is a darkly comic interpretation of the ennui and decadence of Western civilization. Through examining the lives of four protagonists from different strata of society, Amis depicts the boredom, triviality, and violence of contemporary Fngland. Samson Young, a young but dying American writer visiting London, is writing his first novel. Nicola Six, a mysterious, highly erotic, intelligent, but disturbed woman, wants to be murdered. Because Sam lacks the imagination necessary to create fiction, he relies...
(The entire section is 2548 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Sources for Further Study
Chicago Thibune. March 4, 1990, XIV, p. 1.
The Christian Science Monitor. April 11, 1990, p. 12.
London Review of Books. XI, September 28, 1989, p.7.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. March 4, 1990, p.3.
The Nation. CCL, April 23, 1990, p.565.
The New Republic. CCII, April 30, 1990, p.45.
New Statesman and Society. II, September 22, 1989, p.34.
The New York Times Book Review. XCV, March 4, 1990, p. 1.
Newsweek CXV, March 5, 1990, p. 62.
The Observer. September 24, 1989, p.47.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXVII, January 5, 1990, p.62.
The Spectator. CCLXIII, September 23, 1989, p.36.
Time. CXXXV, February 26, 1990, p.71
The Times Literary Supplement. September 29, 1989, p.1051.
The Wall Street Journal. March 13, 1990, p. A14.
The Washington Post Book World. XX, February 18, 1990, p.3.
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