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Amis, Martin (1949- )

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is Martin Amis.


Six Superlative Sources

· Diedrick, James. Understanding Martin Amis. University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

· Brantlinger, Patrick. Fictions of State: Culture and Credit in Britain, 1694-1994. Cornell University Press, 1996.

· The Martin Amis Web

· Thomson, David. "Martin Amis." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 194: British Novelists since 1960, Second Series. Ed. Merritt Moseley. Gale Research, 1998, pp. 7-18.

· Wood, James. "England." The Oxford Guide to Contemporary Writing. Ed. John Sturrock. Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 113-141.

· Alexander, Victoria. "Martin Amis: Between the Influences of Bellow and Nabokov." Partisan Review (Fall 1994): 580-90.

Other Excellent Sources


· Ashley, Leonard R.N., "Names are Awfully Important: The Onomastics of Satirical Comment in Martin Amis's Money: A Suicide Note," Literary Onomastics Studies 14 (1987): 1-48. Amis's inventive, suggestive use of names in his novels deserves sustained attention. Ashley's analysis of Money is a start, though his compulsive, discursive style detracts from his insights.

· Bellow, Janis Freedman. "Necropolis of the Heart. Review-Essay of The Information and Sabbath's Theater." Partisan Review 62 (1995): 699-718. Excellent discussion of the "postmodern decadence" of Amis's novels and whether there are artistic answers to the question of nihilism.

· Bernard, Catherine. "London Fields de Martin Amis: la mimesis revisitee." Etudes Britqnniques Contemporaines: Revue de la Societe d'Etudes Anglaises Contemporaines. Montellier, France, 1992, 1-15.

· Brantlinger, Patrick. "Postindustrial, Postcolonial, Postmodern: Anarchy in the U.K. (1945-1994)." Fictions of State: Culture and Credit in Britain, 1694-1994. Cornell University Press, 1996. Contains an extended discussion of Money: A Suicide Note.

· Doan, Lara L. "Sexy Greedy Is the Late Eighties: Power Systems in Amis's Money and Churchill's Serious Money." Minnesota Review 34-5 (Spring-Fall 1990): 69- 80. Faults Amis for participating in some of the power structures (especially heterosexist) he is ostensibly satirizing.

· Finney, Brian. "Narrative and Narrated Homicides in Martin Amis's Other People and London Fields." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 37 (Fall 1995): 3-14. Analysis of the way Amis explores "the highly ambiguous relationship between a writer and the characters whom he tortures into life."

· Lodge, David. "After Bakhtin: Essays on Fiction and Criticism." Routledge, 1990. Excellent brief discussion of Money, which Lodge calls a "skaznarrative in the Notes from Underground tradition, a demonic carnival."

· Mallon, Thomas. "Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism." Ticknor and Fields, 1989. In the course of detailing how Jacob Epstein plagiarized "The Rachel Papers" in composing his 1979 novel, "Wild Oats," Mallon offers a fine analysis of the former's strengths.

· Mars-Jones, Adam. "Venus Envy." Chatto and Windus, 1990. Analyzes how masculinity has redefined itself in light of feminism in recent British literature. Contains an extended discussion of the patriarchal assumptions that inform Einstein's Monsters.

· Massie, Allan. "The Novel Today: A Critical Guide to the British Novel 1970-1989." Longman, 1990. A chapter on "the contemporary scene" discusses Amis's career up to Money, which Massie calls "an entrancing work of art."

· Miller, Karl. "Doubles: Studies in Literary History." Oxford University Press, 1985. Important in establishing Amis's fiction as worthy of serious literary analysis. Miller places Amis in a tradition of writers preoccupied by the "double." Contains brief but suggestive readings of Success, Other People, and Money as "orphan deliriums."

· Padhi, Shanti. "Bed and Bedlam: The Hard-Core Extravaganzas of Martin Amis." Literary Half-Yearly 23 (Jan. 1982): 36- 42. Misguided discussion of the scatological impulse in Amis's first two novels, which Shanti terms the "pranks of a young writer trying with utmost panache to outdo his rivals in porno-peddling." Consistently wrong-headed.

· Powell, Neil. "What Life Is: The Novels of Martin Amis." PN Review 7 (1981): 42-5. Sometimes helpful, sometimes condescending discussion of Amis's first three novels. Powell claims that Amis often blurs the distinction between literature and pornography.

· Todd, Richard. "The Intrusive Author in British Postmodernist Fiction: The Case of Alasdair Gray and Martin Amis." Exploring Postmodernism. John Benjamins Publishing, 1987. Intelligent discussion of self-reflexivity in Other People and Money.

· Wilson, Jonathan. "A Very English Story." The New Yorker (6 March 1995): 96-106. A detailed discussion of the controversy surrounding The Information: Amis's change of agents and publishers, the large advance he secured for the novel, the reaction of the British literary establishment.


· Bayley, John. "Being Two Is Half the Fun" (review of Money). London Review of Books (4 July 1985): 3.

· Bradbury, Malcolm. "Forget the Hype, Feel the Breadth" (review of The Information). The Times (23 March 1995): 33.

· Buckley, Christopher. "The Inflammation" (review of The Information). New York Times Book Review (23 April 1995): 3.

· Burgess, Anthony. "Self Possessed" (review of Money). Observer 30 (September 1984): 20.

· Fuller, Graham. "Yob Action" (review of Success). Village Voice (1 December 1987): 66.

· Glendinning, Victoria. "Lamb's Tale from Amis" (review of Other People). Listener (5 March 1981): 319-20.

· Hamilton, Ian. "Martin and Martina" (review of Money). London Review of Books (20 September - 3 October 1984): 3-4.

· Hollinghurst, Alan. "Opening Eyes" (review of Other People). New Statesman (13 March 1981): 21.

· Hunter, Evan. "Mary Lamb and Mr. Wrong" (review of Other People). New York Times Book Review (26 July 1981): 9.

· Imlah, Mick. "A Dart in the Heart" (review of London Fields). Times Literary Supplement (29 September - 5 October 1989): 1051.

· Kakutani, Michiko. "Raging Midlife Crisis as Contemporary Ethos" (review of The Information). The New York Times (2 May 1995): B2.

· Kermode, Frank. "In Reverse" (review of Time's Arrow). London Review of Books (12 September 1991): 11.

· Lancaster, John. "As a Returning Lord" (review of Einstein's Monsters). London Review of Books (7 May 1987): 11-12.

· Loose, Julian. "Satisfaction" (review of The Information). London Review of Books (11 May 1995): 9-10.

· Mars-Jones, Adam. "Fireworks at the Funeral" (review of Einstein's Monsters). Times Literary Supplement (1 May 1987): 457.

· Mars-Jones, Adam. "Looking on the Blight Side" (review of The Information). Times Literary Supplement (24 March 1995): 19-20.

· Miller, Karl. "Gothic Guesswork" (review of The Rachel Papers). New York Review of Books (18 July 1974): 24-27.

· Packer, George. "Something Amis" (review of London Fields). The Nation (23 April 1990): 565-66.

· Paulin, Tom. "Fantastic Eschatologies" (review of Success). Encounter (3 September 1978): 78.

· Ratcliffe, Michael. "What Little Boys Are Made Of" (review of The Information). Observer (26 March 1995): 17.

· Sutherland, John. "Making Strange" (review of Other People). London Review of Books (19 March - 1 April 1981): 21.

· Updike, John. "Nobody Gets Away with Everything" (review of Time's Arrow). The New Yorker (25 May 1992): 85-88.

· Wilson, A.N. "Young Scumbag" (review of Money). Spectator 20 (October 1984): 29-31.


· Fuller, Graham. "The Prose and Cons of Martin Amis." Interview 25 (May 1995). Probing interview conducted in March 1995, when the British edition of The Information had just appeared.

· Haffenden, John. "Martin Amis." Novelists in Interview. London: Methuen, 1985, 1-24. The best extended interview with Amis, who talks at length about his narrative strategies and concerns.

· Hamilton, Ian. "The Company He Keeps." Sunday Times (London), 8 March 1981: 43. A short profile of the author coinciding with the publication of Other People.

· James, Clive. "N.V. Rampant Meets Martin Amis." London Review of Books 6 (18-31 October 1984): 14. Reprinted in Snake Charmers in Texas: Essays 1980-87. London: Jonathan Cape, 1988, 203-206. A tongue-in-cheek portrait of Martin Amis as high-powered literary figure and celebrity.

· McGrath, Patrick. "Interview with Martin Amis." Bomb 18 (Winter 1987): 26-29. Reprinted in Bomb Interviews. Ed. Betsy Sussler. City Lights Books, 1992, 187-187. Good extended discussion with Amis; covers some of the same ground as the Haffenden interview.

· Michener, Charles. "Britain's Brat of Letters." Esquire 107 (January 1987): 108-11. Most of this profile originally appeared in the November issue of Esquire (136-142), but the last page was left out because of a printing error, so the profile was printed in its entirety in the January 1987 issue. One of the better short profiles.

· Morrison, Susan. "The Wit and Fury of Martin Amis." Rolling Stone 578 (17 May 1990): 95-102. More interview than profile; published to coincide with American edition of London Fields.

· Self, Will. "An Interview with Martin Amis." The Mississippi Review 21 (October 1993): 3, 143-69. Penetrating discussion of Time's Arrow, London Fields, Amis's approach to fiction.

· Stout, Mira. "Down London's Mean Streets." New York Times Magazine, 4 February 1990: 32-36, 48. Solid profile, published in conjunction with the appearance of London Fields.

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