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Money: A Suicide Note (Penguin Ink) Paperback – June 29, 2010
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why only three stars? Martin Amis has a wonderful command of language, but six months after reading Money, can you remember the plot? Me neither.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is probably the funniest book I've ever read. The consumerism and addiction of modern society are presented with careless and unashamed humor. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
I re read Money recently and while it not for m,e Martin Amis's best ( for that see London Fields) its a hilarious albeit very accurate look at the 1980s greed culture. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Anita
I got to page 50 but had to stop. Maybe some readers find the protagonist's story interesting but not me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Christopher
Despite mostly pretty good reviews and despite the fact that I read all kinds of books, I really could not get into this one.Published 11 months ago by Beach Reader