Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lionel Asbo: State of England

It's pretty obnoxious when readers such as myself make suggestions about what an artist should do next (e.g. Woody Allen should stop making movies about neurotic people), but I'm going to do it here. I wish Martin Amis would take his wit, his characterizations, his fizzy prose, and write a straight (i.e. not satirical) novel. It's not just that I think he might write something very good (just imagine a Martin Amis version of his father's great novel The Old Devils), but it would also mean that he wouldn't be writing another bad book. Lionel Asbo goes over a lot of territory that MA has already trod on: The distopian present, thugs with excessive appetites, character foils, and he's done it better before. That's the problem.

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