His first novel The Rachel Papers, is about the adventures of a bright, egotistical teenager (presumably not unlike Amis himself) and his relationship with the eponymous girlfriend in the year before going to University. It is the most traditional of his novels, and still the favourite of some, though it has since been made into a rather unsuccessful film.
Dead Babies, more flippant in tone, has a typically Sixties plot, with a house full of characters who abuse various substances and are eventually massacred by a psychopath. A number of Amis's characteristics show up here for the first time: mordant black humour, obsession with the zeitgeist, authorial intervention, a character subjected to sadistically humorous misfortunes and humiliations, and a defiant casualness ("my attitude has been, I don't know much about science, but I know what I like"). A film adaptation was made in 2000 which was also unsuccessful.
His most famous novels are Money, Time's Arrow and London Fields. The unparalleled size of the advance demanded and obtained by Amis for The Information attracted what Amis described as an Eisteddfod of hostility from writers and critics; ironically, the main characters in The Information are rival authors who are jealous of various aspects of each other's lives. He has written a biography and memoir on his father called Experience. In 2002, to much literary controversy he published Koba the Dread, a book about Stalinism and the intellectual left.
In 2003, Yellow Dog was denounced in intemperate terms as worthless by Tibor Fischer, generating a further hubbub in the media.
Martin Amis has released a collection of his short stories, under the title Heavy Water, and a collection of journalism entitled The War On Cliche.
He continues to live and write in London, England.
Martin Amis Facts
|Birthday||August 25, 1949 (72)|
|Birthplace||Oxford, England, United Kingdom|
|In Vino Veritas|
|Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason: Margaret Atwood & Martin Amis|
|Margaret Atwood & Martin Amis|
|Charlie Rose with Martin Amis; Norman Mailer|
|Charlie Rose with Ron Rosenbaum; Martin Amis; Robert Riger|
|Charlie Rose with David Martin; Martin Amis; Thomas Hoving|
|Charlie Rose with Martin Amis; Bernard Lewis|