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Dead Babies Paperback – April 3, 1991
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However, that said, even less than stellar Amis is fun to read, because he has a writing style that is so unquestionably unique and he writes phrases that pop like firecrackers. He's also scathingly funny, if your sense of humour leans a certain way.
The complaints about Amis's shallow treatments of Americans in this novel are justified, but his treatment didn't bother me too much, since he doesn't paint a much rosier picture of the English.
Like others here have said, if you've never read Amis before, I probably wouldn't start with "Dead Babies," as you might not want to read anything else. However, if you're an Amis fan, this novel lends an interesting look into the early development of a great writer.
Also, a bone to pick re: Amis's Americans: They are wooden and reflect common Euro misconceptions about what Americans are like.
Amis seems to cling to these stereotypes (eg. all Americans are tall, tan, and filled with "American resolve" as he says in the Information, his best novel (I think)). His Americans, at least in his early fiction, are absolute cartoons, even more cardboard-like than his other characters. You can't understand a culture by watching its TV and reading its newpapers. As the kid says below, so much for the War against the Cliche. From reading Amis's fiction, I'm surprised by the fact that he actually has been here... Plus, gritty urban America is merely one facet of the country, and even within this small section, there is endless variation (eg. the world of Seattle is far from the world of Chicago).Read more ›
Great character development in this one. Superb detail, and a hysterical plot where not much happens but there is a lot going on (for those of you old enough to remember the '70's I'm sure this sounds familiar).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I started this I had a major sinus headache and needed an enjoyable, easy-to-digest book with a lightning-quick pace to pass the time; Dead Babies fit the bill perfectly. Read morePublished on August 6, 2014 by Nathan W
For such a fine author this is a disapointing effort - shallow, glib, not that interesting and superficial. Read morePublished on November 27, 2011 by Steve Rogers
I tried to read this book, but as I turned page one it just fell off the spine. I finally gave up at page 14. Oh well, the book looked like it was in good condition.Published on July 1, 2009 by David
Worth reading if only for Keith, the repugnant dwarf. The book is usually funny and occasionally disturbing, like most of Amis' work. Read it. Please.Published on November 4, 2006 by Daniel Cecil
Yep - this is minor Amis - the two goals (that I could detect) are both fairly modest - a satire of the sex-and-drug debaucheries of the young and beautiful in mid-1970s England,... Read morePublished on September 16, 2006 by David Alston
I bought this book on a whim. I wasn't expecting what I read. I couldn't put it down. It has been along time since I read something full of such detail. Read morePublished on January 29, 2003 by laura tiffany
Initially, this book looked rather promising. Amis's stylistic touches were nice as usual and for the first hundred or so pages it seemed as though this was really building up... Read morePublished on May 13, 2002 by next