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Money: A Suicide Note (Penguin Ink) Paperback – Deckle Edge, June 29, 2010

118 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the London Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Absolutely one of the funniest, smartest, meanest books I know. John Self, the Rabelaisian narrator of the novel, is an advertising man and director of TV commercials who lurches through London and Manhattan, eating, drinking, drugging and smoking too much, buying too much sex, and caring for little else besides getting the big movie deal that will make him lots of money. Hey, it was the '80s. Most importantly, however, Amis in Money musters more sheer entertainment power in any single sentence than most writers are lucky to produce in a career. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Martin Amis’s vibrantly dark 1985 novel, Money, gave us a rollicking, repulsive picture of London and New York in the late 20th century, awash in cash, corruption, pornography, junk food, junk art, self-promotion and wretched excess of every imaginable variety. More than two and a half decades later that novel’s scabrous vision of a crude, rude world reeling from narcissism and acquisitiveness seems as potent as ever. Its hilariously awful hero, John Self, is an uncanny harbinger of the willful vulgarians who would gain even more ascendancies in the reality-show, greed-is-great era of the 21st century.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Savagely hilarious. It risks, it boils with energy . . . it even manages to shock.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Ink
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143116959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143116950
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Sirin on October 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Writing doesn't get any funnier than this. Readers who find deep vein humour in black, sexual comedy such as Portnoy's Complaint and (even blacker), Lolita, will revel in Money. The unreliable narrator, John Self is a brilliantly drawn character. Physically and emotionally repulsive, materialistic, a string of unwholesome vices - drugs, porn, fast food, dirty women and most of all money, and a stunning voice which is at one yobbish yet shamefully poetic.

In fact, Martin Amis has declared this to be a voice novel. When form goes out the window and the voice takes over. Like Saul Bellow finding his broad, socially and intellectually panoramic style in The Adventures of Augie March, Amis finds the voice to skewer the absurditites of Western Urban Capitalism, and the disorientated place of the modern male within the system. Money contains so many of the classic Amis riffs and set pieces - the tennis match, the dinner party, the brothel visits, the porn shows - as John Self is put through one humiliation after another in his pursuit of Mammon. The comic detail is stunning. There are so many exquisite phrases. Amis learns from another of his major literary heroes, Nabokov, and distorts the aesthetic, baroque high style into a low life screamer of a book. Marvellous.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By D. Mikels on June 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Money. It makes the world go 'round, and that's the problem. It seems the Earth's spinning on its axis has less to do with physics and more to do with those who don't have money chasing those who have it. And novelist/satirist Martin Amis cashes in on the corrupting influence of currency with his delightfully savage book, MONEY.
Director John Self is a self-admitted loser. There's not much to like about him: he smokes too much, drinks too much--he's an irresponsible buffoon with an addiction to porn and prostitutes. But he's got money, and as he waits for the financing of his next film to come together, he makes London and New York his sinful playgrounds. Leapfrogging back and forth across the pond, he leaves a shambled trail of self-destruction in his wake. Over the course of his bizarre journey, John shares his thoughts and philosophy on the intricacies of life: Life according to John Self, a drunken bugger with money. In fact, the story happily plays a second fiddle to John's reflections, and John's reflections carry the story from one zany mishap to the next.
Amis is sheer genius. He writes with a demented pomposity--a politically incorrect finger-in-your-eye--that has the reader laughing one moment, cringing the next. With a clever tongue-in-cheek device to show nothing is sacred, he even inserts himself into the story. It's fascinating reading, as Amis allows his protagonist's thoughts to wander all over the dysfunctional map of human corruption (often within the same paragraph). MONEY is a triumphant satire that blasts away at our consumer culture and reveals our fragile human foibles. It is the type of book I wish I had the backbone to write.
--D. Mikels, Author, WALK-ON
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Smith on September 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most well-written and funny books you'll ever read. My copy has multiple dog ears because I keep going back to look up this or that hilarious passage: Lorne Guyland's rambling dissertations, John Self's drunken careen through a NY restaurant, the chess game near the end (an amazing metaphor-packed *action* scene that you'll read wide-eyed at the fact that anyone could write with such style). Some readers don't seem to understand that you're supposed to despise John Self while still marveling at his antics. I feel bad for those people; I feel pity for those people--oh yes. But for those who like densely written, wildly stylish fiction that also has a point, from a writer at the top of his game, you *must* read this book!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Once an Amis fan, always an Amis fan. Money is quite possibly one of the best novels I've ever read, nevermind that it's an Amis novel. He opens up existential angst in the broadest, most heartbreaking and accessible way, that it makes movies seem just plain irrelevant.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Ware on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book contains one of the finest first-person narratives ever written. Coarse and chummy, fretful and alcoholic, the narrator is a Studebaker-sized beast of a man who skates to his ruin on too much booze, bad credit and pornography. Reading this book is like watching a rampaging circus elephant get shot in mid-city traffic, sink slowly to its knees and die.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rose City Reader on October 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Martin Amis's Money is a stumbling, swirling, sodden romp though the protagonist's brain. As anti-hero John Self bounces back and forth between London and New York, pursuing a questionable movie deal, he spins the hilarious tale of his drunken, pornographic life.

Comparison's to Kinglsey Amis's Lucky Jim are inevitable, as both are comic novels dealing with sad-sack, affable drunks. Where Lucky Jim is charming, with likable characters and a coherent plot, Money is chaotic, with abrasive characters and a shaggy, almost stream-of-conscience plot line. Money is also a little longer than it needs to be (it gets repetitive) and uses a few post-modern tricks that are too cheeky for my taste (Martin Amis is a character, for example). But what makes Money worth reading is that it is funny. Sometimes it is laugh-out-loud funny. That, and the feeling that John Self isn't quite the ogre he makes himself out to be, keeps the pages turning.
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