Martin Amis, British author of era-defining novels, dies at 73
Influential British author Martin Amis has died at his home in Lake Worth, Fla., of esophageal cancer. He was 73.
His agent, Andrew Wiley, and his publisher, Vintage Books, confirmed his death on Saturday.
This is from Ron Rosenbaum, in his book The Secret Parts of Fortune:
As more and more bodies crammed themselves into the sweaty mosh pit of the Benetton basement, and the wait for the now overdue author went on, I began revolving around in my mind a theory about Mr. Amis’s work, why exactly I find his vision so powerful. Why it represents to me something more than addictively entertaining, acidly sophisticated dark comedy. The way it seems to me to embody as well a perversely spiritual vision, a brilliant heretical counterstatement to the Grand, Overinflated secular religion of our culture: the Religion of Self-Esteem. What Mr. Amis does is counterpose to the doctrine of self-esteem as the be-all and cure-all of the human condition what might be called the Virtue of Self-Loathing, the spiritual Discipline of Self-Disgust.
Here are a couple of his books that I am a fan of:
Money is the hilarious story of John Self, one of London’s top commercial directors, who is given the opportunity to make his first feature film—alternately titled Good Money and Bad Money. He is also living money, talking money, and spending money in his relentless pursuit of pleasure and success. As he attempts to navigate his hedonistic world of drinking, sex, drugs, and excessive quantities of fast food, Self is sucked into a wretched spiral of degeneracy that is increasingly difficult to surface from.
The son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis explores his relationship with this father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley’s life. He also examines the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who was abducted and murdered by one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers. Experience also deconstructs the changing literary scene, including Amis’ portraits of Saul Bellow, Salman Rushdie, Allan Bloom, Philip Larkin, and Robert Graves, among others. Not since Nabokov’s Speak, Memory has such an implausible life been recorded by such an inimitable talent. Profound, witty, and ruthlessly honest, Experience is a literary event.