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The struggles of Martin Amis

A tricksy autobiographical novel feels very familiar

By Miranda France   October 2020

Can this really be Martin Amis’s last novel? He’s been writing them for most of my life, starting with The Rachel Papers in 1973, and producing a steady flow since, along with journalism and essays, assorted broadsides and sideswipes. These often came accompanied by a portrait of Amis wearing his famous sulky moue. That refusal to smile suggested a new and dangerous intellectualism—although it later turned out he was hiding bad teeth—an impression that primed us for something revolutionary. Our parents had been fans of his father Kingsley’s comic novels, but Amis fils was going to chuck that realist…

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