Martin Amis

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Photo of Martin Amis by Robert Birnbaum

Martin Amis (born in Oxford, August 25, 1949) is an English novelist and son of Sir Kingsley Amis. He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford.

His first novel The Rachel Papers (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award in 1974), 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, and the ones most respected by critics, are Money, Time's Arrow and London Fields. Time's Arrow drew notice both for its unusual technique - time runs backwards during the entire novel - as well as for its topic: It is the autobiography of a doctor who helped torture Jews during the Holocaust.

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 memoir, largely about his relationship with his famous author father, called Experience. In 2002, Amis published Koba the Dread, a book about the crimes of Stalinism and the intellectual left. The book provoked a literary controversy for his supposedly nave and dilettante approach to the material, and for its attack on his longtime friend Christopher Hitchens, who rebuked his charges in a stinging review in The Atlantic.

In 2003, Yellow Dog was denounced in intemperate terms as worthless by Tibor Fischer, generating a further hubbub in the media.

One of his cousins, 21-year-old Lucy Partington, was a victim of Fred West. [1] (

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 lives and writes in London and Uruguay.




  • The Rachel Papers (1973)
  • Dead Babies (1975)
  • Success (1978)
  • Other People (1981)
  • Money: A Suicide Note (1984)
  • London Fields (1989)
  • Time's Arrow: Or the Nature of the Offense (1991)
  • The Information (1995)
  • Night Train (1997)
  • Yellow Dog (2003)


  • Einstein's Monsters (1987)
  • Visiting Mrs Nabokov: And Other Excursions (1993)
  • Two Stories (1994)
  • God's Dice (1995)
  • Heavy Water: And Other Stories (1998)
  • State of England: And Other Stories (1998)
  • Amis Omnibus (omnibus) (1999)
  • The Fiction of Martin Amis (2000)
  • Vintage Amis (2004)

Non fiction

  • Invasion of the Space Invaders (1982)
  • The Moronic Inferno: And Other Visits to America (1986)
  • Experience (2000)
  • The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000 (2001)
  • Martin Amis, Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million, Hyperion (2002), hardcover, 306 pages, ISBN 0786868767 (About Joseph Stalin and Russian History)

External links

  • The Martin Amis Web (
  • Martin Amis - Author Page (,5917,-4,00.html) - Guardian Books (
  • Two Audio Interviews with Martin Amis - 1985 (23 min. 22 sec.) and 1990 (32 min. 4 sec.) RealAudio (
  • Martin Amis (, The New York Times Reviews of Martin Amis's Earlier Books, Articles About and By Martin Amis
  • Authors in the front line: Martin Amis (,,2099-1458940,00.html), The Sunday Times Magazine, February 06, 2005 On the streets of Colombia, young boys cripple or murder each other just for showing disrespect or for winning at a game of cards. Is the taste for violence opening up a wound that can never heal? Report: Martin Amis In The Sunday Times Magazine's continuing series of articles, renowned writers bring a fresh perspective to the world's trouble spots. The international medical-aid organisation MSF has helped our correspondents reach some of these inhospitable areas.cs:Martin Amis

de:Martin Amis


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