Martin Amis is definitely one of my top authors. I love his wit, prose, plots everything. In fact reading early Amis ( I lost track of him after Yellow Dog) is like immersing yourself into some pleasure zone .
Weirdly enough when I read London Fields back in 2000 ( which was an apt year to read this novel) I hated it. I just found it pretentious and lacking in that Amis touch (although I liked the bikini segment)
How wrong I was!!
Until my second attempt I always held Money as Amis’ best novel but now I feel that London Fields surpasses it. I felt that it’s a more powerful book – and to a certain extent funnier as well.
The book is narrated by failing author Samson Young, who has luckily found the perfect plot for a novel. The astoundingly beautiful Nicola Six plans to kill herself on her 35th birthday. Through deception she enlists the help of Low life Keith Talent and middle class Guy Clinch to participate in this murder. It is also 1999 and the British army will be launching missiles to the Middle East and the Prime Minister’s wife is undergoing a serious operation. Not to mention that London is a hotspot for pollution and everything wrong with the world.
Eventually Nicola does get her wish but not how she plans it. Let’s say that Sam is an unreliable narrator and skewers the details a little bit.
Leaving the murder mystery aside, Amis’ writing just explodes. His remarks on social class, morals and the upcoming apocalypse are both terrifying and yet darkly funny. London Fields is a satire of the first degree but it’s also a very entertaining one as well. A classic.