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Other People Paperback – February 8, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (February 8, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679735895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679735892
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amis's darkly comic study of an amnesiac young woman and the construction of selfhood.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Amis (London Fields, LJ 3/1/90) here weaves a tale of a young woman suffering from amnesia who assumes a new identity while trying to piece together the mystery of her forgotten life.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Unfortunately the ending is, well, both too much and not enough.
lazza
That is to say, if you're hoping for a rigid structure with unambiguous narrative and clear plot, this novel is probably not for you.
Author of Eudemonia
If you could read it in one afternoon, I suppose it wouldn't be a waste of time.
Fred Enderby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris MB on October 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
This was my first foray into the world of Amis and I am very happy that I tried this guy out. Very impressive. Amis is truly gifted. By his brilliant use of the English language, he gets the reader to look at things his way. While this is the goal of all writers, not many are as successful as Amis. The only drawback, hence the four stars instead of five, is the ending. While it was a very intriguing novel, I was left thinking that I had missed something by the end of the book. Either that, or Amis got a little tired of writing and ended it prematurely. All in all, however, it was well worth the read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. J. Mclachlan on March 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
of the fiction that i've read by Amis, this one's my favourite. the opening is unforgettable; hallucinogenic, beautifully observed, carefully ordered. and then on to a cross-section of London life; the drunks with their endless sitting around in the living room; the would-be muggers who, with brilliant nonchalance, are described as doing something so depressing that practically no one else can bear to do it; the moneyed idlers with their tragically empty lives, their sleeping around and their Kamikaze deceits.
one stylistic tic i could have lived without was the author's habit of repeat phrasing sentences. but the only genuinely damp squib in this case of literary fireworks was Amis's slightly juvenile obsession with murderers and murderees. as in London Fields, the ending is abrupt and offhand. having built up such a well-observed portrait of life, the end sequence feels amateurish and out of place, as if Amis doesn't have quite enough faith in his ability to chronicle life as it is, and must fall back on chicanery to hold his readership's attention.
overall though, a phenomenally good piece of writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sirin on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of Martin Amis's earlier novels, written during the phase where he seemed to be aiming to emulate the early career of Nabokov in producing short, stylish novels that play with the conventional rules of reality and narrative structure.

Other People can seem perplexing, but I think it is essentially an interesting angle on the social phenomenon of downward mobility - well off people going off the rails and plunging into messy troubles - which was a prominent one in 1970s London.

The heroine, Mary Lamb goes through an amnesiac process. She finds it difficult to remember nouns, common terms, the names of familiar objects. The whole world is a riddle for her. Thus a newspaper is a 'dirty sheath of smudged grey paper that came and went every day'. She wanders innocently through shabby London society, commented on by a mysterious narrator, leaving a trail of destruction wherever she goes. Through a mysterious policeman, Prince, she learns about Amy Hide, a girl who has disappeared. Amy appears to be Mary's doppelganger, another Nabokovian technique Amis has raided in this novel. Eventually, this strange netherworld comes into focus and it is revealed what has happened to Mary during her life.

Other People may seem odd, but I think it is one of Amis's most stylish and heartfelt fictions. The character of Mary Hide is endearing in a way that Amis's characters rarely are. Amis himself has suggested that 'Other People' can be read as a sort of sequel to his later novel 'London Fields'. Readers of 'London Fields' who know how that book ends will have a useful lead into this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lazza on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
'Other People' by Martin Amis is a rather perplexing read. It is well-written, interesting at times, but inevitably feels rather aimless. The story concerns itself with a young woman in London suffering from amnesia. As she (very) slowly pieces together who she was it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Think in terms of surreal and existential and you'll have an idea what this book is like. Unfortunately the ending is, well, both too much and not enough. I felt disappointed and a bit cheated, as if the author simply got bored with writing the book and simply decided to put an end to it.

Bottom line: a mostly enjoyable read that leads nowhere.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gonn1000 on April 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This gripping mistery story focuses a young woman, Mary Lamb, who suddently wakes up in the streets of London and doesn`t seem to remember who she is, apparently knowing nothing about her life. As the plot develops, some hints about her backup life start appearing, and slowly she begins to discover some things about her. Martin Amis manages to create an intriguing and entertaining story about the development of one`s personality and the coming of adulthood, as Mary as to deal with multiple problems and new people that she doesn`t seem to understand. With time, she starts changing and turns into a different, stronger, less innocent and naive person to become a stronger and at times manipulative woman. As she starts recognizing the world that surrounds here, Mary also learns how to deal with "Other People". The book is engaging and compelling for the most part, and Amis writes with a true sense of detailed and credible atmosphere, managing to deliver some witty observations, clever humour and well-crafted characters. The ending, however, is a bit lackluster and really disappoints, given that until there the book is consistently good and surprising. Still, "Other People" is a worthwile pick nonetheless, even if it doesn`t stand out as one of Martin Amis` best pieces of writing.
Intelligent, poignant and amusing.
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