Here, finally, is Amis's chance to set matters straight--and if you're looking for his take on these controversies, you won't be disappointed. In fact, you should turn right away to the end of the book. After all, how many memoirs have indices--and how many indices are this entertaining? In addition to movers and shakers like "Travolta, John," "Brown, Tina," and "Bellow, Saul," one finds an extended entry for "dental problems," which includes "of animals," "sexual potency and," "Bellow on," and--more ominously--"tumour."
Yet it's as "a clear view of the geography of a writer's mind," not as a celebrity tell-all, that Experience succeeds. Organized not by chronology but by a strange thematic schema all Amis's own, this messy, tangential book moves backward and forward in time and comes studded with footnotes and interspersed with schoolboy epistles. As a result, it's much truer to the actual texture of experience than anything more "novelistic" could possibly be. Amis's charming, quarrelsome, almost entirely helpless father; the tragic disappearance of his cousin, Lucy Partington; the daughter discovered only as an adult; those teeth--the narrative circles around these events and personages in prose as virtuoso but often less chilly than that found in his novels. This is memoir as anatomy of obsessions, and in the most profound way, it illuminates the source and power of Amis's remarkable work. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
All that said, this is a very good book, beautifully crafted and always a pleasure to read.
The book is very well written, and despite the annoying use of footnotes to mark augmentations and tangents, I found it an enjoyable read.
No I am not going to go to close to home because it is A. too painful and B.(perhaps a sub-theme of A) just TOO private.
This book reminded me of Edmund White's "Inside a Pearl, My Life in Paris." They are both autobiographical with a scattered time frame and much name dropping. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Suzanne
If I could give it minus 1 I would. It was THAT bad!
Classic example of the son of a brilliant man who writes a book just because he can, knowing fully well it will get... Read more
This is one of the most insightful, intelligent, entertaining and poignant books I have ever read. This book has the distinction of being a book which inspires one to read more and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rosy Fenwicke
I had to read this book for a Creative Writing course. After a few pages of reading, I was hooked on Martin Amis.
He's excellent; this is a must-read. Read more
I began reading Martin Amis with his book Koba The Dread, a delightful prosecution of Stalin and his atrocities, Russian Communism and the other monsters who inflicted it upon a... Read morePublished on June 5, 2011 by Ron in Western Maryland
I'm going to quote at length:
"Some freak perihelion or syzgy caused the sun to hang unnaturally low in the late afternoons. Read more
How many opportunities is one likely to have to read a well-regarded literary author's memoirs about (among other things) his relationship with his well-regarded author father? Read morePublished on May 18, 2007 by Charles S. Houser
"Experience" is the finest memoir I've read in a dozen years. It has a post-modern format with a variety of voice tones that range from witty to profound and poetic. Read morePublished on March 29, 2007 by Doreen Pearson
I gave Amis's memoir 5 stars because I have to---it is that good. ("Pale as a Sex Pistol," is not nearly his best, and it's very, very good. Read morePublished on February 23, 2007 by GEM