Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Degenerate Hedonism With a Twist Please!", August 15, 2004
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This review is from: Money (Paperback)
Close your eyes, now imagine morning rush hour in New York City, or for those of you who are the night owls of this world, an anticipated evening out in the "Big Apple", are you there yet? Ha! ... energizing isn't it! That is the tone of this read, pure energy! And Amis does a fantastic job of bringing the ambiance of the New York life style to light when his protagonist John Self takes a bite out of it. You'll walk it, eat it, breathe it, experience it as you read along, this I guarantee. Now let's board a flight and cross the pond to London. We're not going to hang in the city here, but retreat to a modest little flat, "home sweet home" aaaaah! Surrounded by friends, family, familiarities, your safe haven, and take respite here. Its comfort is like a warm duvet on a chilly damp and rainy day. Mr. Amis' brilliantly painted contrasts fill the book throughout giving you that wonderful feeling of traveling to the exotic and then returning home again. And believe me, you'll appreciate the break!

Martin Amis has not only written one of the most powerful narrative voices to be laid to page in this book, but has pulled off the most unbelievable finish to this saga! My jaw dropped, eyes widened, and I found myself calling a friend to say, " You are never gonna believe this!!!" No, no, no, I'm not going to spoil that bit for you, it's absolutely too wild! Applause Mr. Amis, thunderous applause!

His first person narrator John Self speaks directly to the reader and draws you right into this story, through which an intimate relationship begins to grow with the characters, that transposes this fictional writing into unbelievable realism. The "Verbal Energy" truly dominates the prose throughout this book, as Amis' vast knowledge of the English language continually feeds you platefuls of sonorous articulation. You'll be totally stuffed, but still craving more, one of the reasons I found it so hard to put this book down.

Now if you take a self centered, low life, yes, Mr. John Self, and throw him together with a group of sordid swindlers ... friends, family, lovers, and colleagues, you'll have the guts of Money. But it's the interaction and trickery that Amis has woven between all that makes this book, everything but a "Fiasco".

Now Self, the deplorable anti-hero of this tale, is an abusive, over weight, money loving, blackout drinker, chain smoking, sex seeking, pornography aficionado, that goes through life on the take. But believe me, you are going to find yourself sympathetic towards him as this story unfolds, and you won't know at exactly what point he gained your support. Perhaps when he's gifted the book and begins to read does he begin to see a bit of worth in himself. Hmmm ...

Interestingly enough are the characters of John Self, Martina Twain, and "Martin Amis" Yes, Martin has even written himself into this story. But more so you'll find that the "real" Mr. Amis lives and breathes in this tale to a greater degree. John "Self", is ridden with a dodgy tooth that's mentioned throughout the book, (see Experience A Memoir by Martin Amis) "Martina", well educated and cultured (well is that not Martin Amis? Drop the "a" from the characters name and what do you have?), and "Martin Amis" himself the real life author, and also, as the hired screenwriter for Self's film Bad Money (check out who wrote the screen play for Saturn Five). Not to mention the suicide note addressed to "Antonia" in this story, Amis's first wife. All of the fore mentioned are truths in the real life of Martin Amis. These are just a few of the overt. There are even more shadows lurking deeper within the characters and events, which makes this read even more intriguing!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I can, and do, recommend this book highly! What a ride!!
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