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The return of the master

Martin Amis’s twelfth novel reimagines the sexual revolution as a comedy of manners, with deadly serious intentions

By Tom Chatfield   February 2010

The Pregnant Widow By Martin Amis (Jonathan Cape, £18.99)

Over the last decade, one nagging question has increasingly vexed the literary commentariat: is Martin Amis turning into his father? Fulminations against “Islamo-fascism” and modernity’s idle relativism have, together with the advancing years, convinced some observers that a familial pattern is being played out. A young Turk shocks the establishment with the wit and verve of his debut, enjoys spectacular (by literary standards) success and notoriety, and then spends his last couple of decades lurching steadily to the right and lamenting the awfulness of modern times.

According to this model, Amis…

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