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Martin Amis is DEAD TO ME

Of the same thing that got Christopher Hitchens

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by Anonymousreply 50May 24, 2023 7:48 AM

Time's arrow got to him.

by Anonymousreply 1May 20, 2023 8:03 PM

I wonder what it could have been

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by Anonymousreply 2May 20, 2023 8:05 PM

I hadn't heard anything about him in at least 10 years. The last thing I recall him being newsworthy about was when he got himself a whole set of movie star teeth and the British media made fun of him.

Never particularly liked his books. Always thought the most interesting thing about him was his cousin Lucy was one of serial killer Fred West's victims.

by Anonymousreply 3May 20, 2023 8:07 PM

Esophageal cancer often= alcoholism.

by Anonymousreply 4May 20, 2023 8:09 PM

He was a smoker.

by Anonymousreply 5May 20, 2023 8:20 PM

R5, meet R2.

by Anonymousreply 6May 20, 2023 8:21 PM

I just finished The Zone of Interest yesterday and picked up a few others—I’d read both Time’s Arrow and Experience a few years ago. Some kind of synchronicity there.

by Anonymousreply 7May 20, 2023 8:46 PM

I loved him. His works got progressively more contrived as he aged, but he was a force. I wasn't ready for this. Devastated.

by Anonymousreply 8May 20, 2023 8:48 PM

I guess the lesson is -- don't be brilliant, and don't smoke.

by Anonymousreply 9May 20, 2023 8:59 PM

BritLit nepo baby.

by Anonymousreply 10May 20, 2023 8:59 PM

Never managed to get through his books. Tried three and gave up midway through all of them. However his father was a brilliant writer and is one of my favourite novelists.

by Anonymousreply 11May 20, 2023 9:02 PM

I read "Money" a long time ago and found it enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 12May 20, 2023 9:04 PM

Horrible writer.

Bought one of his books years ago which critics were orgasming over. I think it won a bunch of literary awards.


I used to read contemporary writers but by 1980s everything turned to surrealistic shit.

by Anonymousreply 13May 20, 2023 9:27 PM

I never liked his books - I hated all that "literary Mick Jagger" nonsense. He always seemed very dreary and humorless.

by Anonymousreply 14May 20, 2023 9:32 PM

Ciggies and liquor, I presume.

by Anonymousreply 15May 20, 2023 9:34 PM

I didn't know he'd moved to Florida.


by Anonymousreply 16May 20, 2023 9:42 PM

Really sad to know this. Been reading Amis for most of my adult life. Quality variable, but always a vigorous intelligence with vivid flair.

Death was always a preoccupation. 'Money' was subtitled 'A Suicide Note.' In a fairly recent interview he thought that about 80 was the outer limit for hanging around. 'Inside Story' mentions his 'suicidal ideation' more than once.

And now - like Hitchens, Larkin and Pinter - drink and smoking have proved fatal. Amis watched Hitchens die, and carried on anyway. He leaves a fine body of work, but I'll miss his cultural presence. RIP.

by Anonymousreply 17May 20, 2023 9:51 PM

R17 Beautifully put, and right with you.

by Anonymousreply 18May 20, 2023 9:52 PM

[quote] but I'll miss his cultural presence.


by Anonymousreply 19May 20, 2023 9:52 PM

I don't seem to be alone with that thought, R19. The story led the BBC News, and Amis is on the front of The Sunday Times. Much more will follow.

by Anonymousreply 20May 20, 2023 10:01 PM

Who was the better novelist, Martin, or his father, Kingsley?

by Anonymousreply 21May 20, 2023 10:08 PM

Oh, damn, no. He was and still is my literary idol. Especially loved his novel, The Information, and his essays, too--The Moronic Inferno showed his ruthless but also kind repertorial voice. A true intellect and prose stylist. This is a titanic loss.

Shit, 2023 has been abysmal so far.

by Anonymousreply 22May 20, 2023 10:52 PM

Loathed him as a person and a novelist.

But still shocked by the news.

73 is young.

by Anonymousreply 23May 20, 2023 11:11 PM

[quote]73 is young.

You wish.

by Anonymousreply 24May 20, 2023 11:32 PM

Sad to hear this. His humor isn’t for everyone, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of his.

His Florida home is cute.

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by Anonymousreply 25May 20, 2023 11:34 PM

Very taken aback by the dislike for Amis here and on the other thread. When I was an M.F.A. student (no laughing!) in the 90s, MA was one of the few contemporary literary fiction writers my classmates and professors seemed to agree was first-rate. We never bickered about him the way we did Cormac McCarthy or Denis Johnson or Raymond Carver. Am I missing something? Should I be questioning my judgment?

by Anonymousreply 26May 21, 2023 12:53 AM

I didn't realize he was only 24 when "the Rachel Papers" came out. Almost 50 years of published writing is a pretty long writing career.

by Anonymousreply 27May 21, 2023 1:48 AM

[quote] Very taken aback by the dislike for Amis here and on the other thread. When I was an M.F.A. student (no laughing!) in the 90s, MA was one of the few contemporary literary fiction writers my classmates and professors seemed to agree was first-rate. We never bickered about him the way we did Cormac McCarthy or Denis Johnson or Raymond Carver. Am I missing something? Should I be questioning my judgment?

If everyone in your (unnamed) MA program agreed twenty-thirty years ago that he was first-rate, then of course you must be right, and everyone else here must be wrong.

by Anonymousreply 28May 21, 2023 2:02 AM

You don't get esophageal cancer from smoking. This was from drinking.

I could never get through any of his books either. Writing clearly came very easily to him and he was very good at it, but I couldn't get interested in anything he had to say.

by Anonymousreply 29May 21, 2023 4:18 AM


by Anonymousreply 30May 21, 2023 4:20 AM

Loathe him and his literary fraternity. (Ok, Julian Barnes’ works can stay, as can about a third of Rushdie’s output). London Fields was appalling.

But it is sad. 73 is too young in this day and age.

by Anonymousreply 31May 21, 2023 4:23 AM

"Of the same thing that got Christopher Hitchens"

Terminal insufferability?

by Anonymousreply 32May 21, 2023 12:06 PM

Was he ever photographed NOT sneering?

by Anonymousreply 33May 21, 2023 1:00 PM

R26, I could write Martin Amis novel about why I don't like Martin Amis, but I think "smugness, contempt for his characters, hatred of women, sledgehammer satire and increasingly garbage-bedecked prose" sort of sums it up.

See also Jonathan Franzen.

by Anonymousreply 34May 21, 2023 2:46 PM

He was a tiny thing and stood 5’4 on a good day. His collection of elevator shoes and Cuban heel boots was said to rival Nick Sarkozy’s.

by Anonymousreply 35May 21, 2023 4:13 PM

FWIW, R32, Hitchens (who was bi) admitted to having had a longstanding sexual crush on his platonic BFF Martin. I can't be bothered to find the interview, but it was clear that there was some regret that there was no chance at ever having a go at it. I guess Martin was either totally straight, or Hitch wasn't really his type.

by Anonymousreply 36May 21, 2023 4:17 PM

Amis was effortlessly resolutely hetero, as his novels let us know. It's a measure of his literary skill that this isn't fatally boring.

Hitchens alluded to but didn't belabour his attraction to Amis. He just knew it was a lost cause, and settled for close friendship. Some of his attraction was channelled into an affair with Amis's sister Sally.

When promoting 'Inside Story', Amis acknowledged that Hitchens's attraction to him made the friendship the more difficult for him, Hitch. Amis went on to say that he himself could identify some sort of erotic affection for Hitchens, if never sexual.

by Anonymousreply 37May 21, 2023 4:38 PM

I don't know what person blessed with eyesight could look at either of those two weasel-faced runts and think: "Me for fucking that!"

by Anonymousreply 38May 21, 2023 4:44 PM

They looked better as young men, R38.

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by Anonymousreply 39May 21, 2023 4:51 PM

R39, hard pass to both of them. Martin looks a tad more fuckable than Hitch, but so does Rocket Raccoon.

by Anonymousreply 40May 21, 2023 6:58 PM

R28, I see how my comment sounded smug. I didn't mean it to come across that way. I just haven't heard anyone I know who reads fiction regularly criticize his work, and so some of the comments here surprised me. I'm really curious if I missed something in his writing that warrants dislike. I might go back and re-read some of his stuff.

by Anonymousreply 41May 22, 2023 12:58 AM

R41 I loved his pre-'90s fiction -- the earlier the better. His writing seemed to get more contrived and gimmicky from Time's Arrow on (though I thought Time's Arrow still worked). Many of his essays were very good.

by Anonymousreply 42May 22, 2023 1:09 AM

[quote] Of the same thing that got Christopher Hitchens

Sneery Brit Syndrome?

by Anonymousreply 43May 22, 2023 1:10 AM

Never swallow when you're eating pussy.

by Anonymousreply 44May 22, 2023 1:16 AM

R42, yes, now that you mention it, I see the gimmicky aspect. I picked up his novel Night Train some years ago and never finished it. It just seemed like an ill-conceived literary exercise and not interesting at all. As you mention, his essays were very good and where much of my admiration comes from.

by Anonymousreply 45May 22, 2023 1:42 AM

R45 I always thought that the young Martin Amis would have loathed his older self.

by Anonymousreply 46May 22, 2023 2:36 AM

Amis didn't live long enough to receive his Knighthood in the King's first honours list. It might reasonably have been offered years ago. The honour would have been a justified familial link to his father Kingsley's Knighthood.

by Anonymousreply 47May 22, 2023 2:54 PM

Hitch had a thing Amis? Didn't (doesn't) Andrew Sullivan have a thing for Hitch? I don't subscribe to Sully's substack writings, wonder how long it will take for him to type out and post several thousand words about Amis (and add Hitch to the post, naturally).

by Anonymousreply 48May 22, 2023 8:20 PM

Great eulogy, R17.

Like most people I preferred his earlier work though my favourite is The Information. He is a little bit of an author you admire much more if you are young and enjoying literary fireworks. Though there was some obvious decline over the years, there was always something interesting that he had to say. Will now read Koba The Dread which i ve never read.

by Anonymousreply 49May 23, 2023 9:58 PM

I remember the scandal when he got with Isabel Fonseca. They called her “Fun-seeker,” I thought that was amusing.

by Anonymousreply 50May 24, 2023 7:48 AM
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