Author Topic: Martin Amis - 'Money'  (Read 1976 times)

Martin Amis - 'Money'
« on: May 27, 2019, 09:19:20 PM »
I read 'Money' over the weekend, my first attempt at Amis fiction, having managed to avoid it for 35 years. It has many great passages but takes an incredibly long time to reach a conclusion, by which time we've been through the gutter of this film producer's daily routines several times. Apart from the narrator, who is given some depth in his various monologues and confessions, the characters seem cartoonish, especially the women, although it's fair to point out that they're cartoonish because that's how the narrator sees them.

Does Amis stay in this style for the rest of his career up to now or does he develop a more objective voice?

Twit 2

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 12:45:40 AM »
I’ve only read The Rachel Papers, which I suppose is just Adrian Mole.

Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 10:00:35 AM »
I must have read  'Money' about 5 or 6 times, but the last time was fucking ages ago. Cartoonish exaggeration (especially of the working classes and their wacky ways ) is/was very much Amis' stock-in-trade. Dickensian satire, innit (although "Success" also has Swiftian elements)? Or you could argue that Martin Amis just isn't very good at depicting working class folk (although he's a lot worse at depicting women). This kind of thing was ramped up in '"London Fields", and reached its apex in 'Lionel Asbo".
I did find myself liking John Self, although he seems a tad too erudite and to have a bit too much of an extensive vocabulary to be of a piece with the sort of lowlife character he's supposed to be. Anyways, stopped reading yer man since he started writing all that dubious muslim-bashing stuff.

purlieu

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 11:14:53 PM »
He's one of those authors who is very difficult to separate from the obnoxiousness of his characters. I don't think Dickens is necessarily a great comparison, as he always made it very clear which characters he was ripping into. With Amis, even his more grotesque characters feel like an extension of the author. Not saying that they are, necessarily, but they do often feel like it. It's uncomfortable reading, and not in a way that feels very rewarding.

In short: his books are mostly from a fairly grim perspective, and if you want a more objective view, I wouldn't dig too deep.

Bennett Brauer

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 01:02:42 AM »
I really liked Money and London Fields when I read them about 15 years ago, but trying them again recently I found them a bit of a trudge and gave up. Maybe it's because Martin Amis the media personality's voice was intruding, but they both seemed more effortful to take in this time. Then I sailed through his dad's One Fat Englishman shortly after and thought it was great. I won't give up on Marty, but I'll wait a couple of years.

Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 06:54:43 AM »
There's a character in " Dead Babies " with terrible teeth, that is clearly based on the lad himself.

gilbertharding

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 10:01:30 AM »
I'm afraid ever since The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold skewered the Amis style it's been a 'no' from me. Although Times Arrow is quite a good piece, I think - obviously I've never read the F Scott Fitzgerald original.

I also still think 'rug rethink' is a better term than 'haircut'.

Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 10:37:39 AM »
I'm afraid ever since The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold skewered the Amis style it's been a 'no' from me. Although Times Arrow is quite a good piece, I think - obviously I've never read the Kurt Vonnegut original.



FTFY.

gilbertharding

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 11:38:19 AM »
FTFY.

OK - but funnily enough I have read Slaughterhouse 5!

I suppose now I think, Benjamin Button's nothing like the same as Times Arrow - mainly because he's the only one going backwards.

Dannyhood91

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 12:12:49 PM »
The bit when he plays tennis is good

I like this book because I enjoy books about scumbags and found John Self particularly pathetic. His relationship with his kind of girlfriend is a weird one.

I do think it’s a bit overly long.

buttgammon

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 01:26:57 PM »
I think London Fields is a better book overall, but Money is genuinely hilarious. It's a shame his general arsheolery is hard to separate from that of his characters, because from anyone else, the grotesque satire would be much easier to take.

Pepotamo1985

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 11:15:57 PM »
I must have read  'Money' about 5 or 6 times, but the last time was fucking ages ago.

I've read it twice in full but have gone back to certain passages more times than I can remember. I think it's fantastic, genuinely hilarious and a total virtuoso bit of writing - a real outlier in his oeuvre too, nothing he's written before or since comes anywhere near it in any way (despite Fields and The Information being very similar, particularly the latter) and in fact I'd say most of his other books I've read are absolute unreadable plops. It's way too long and I think having Amis as a character in the book was pretty unnecessary and cringey - I can't think what his objective/motivation behind that was, apart from a cack-handed effort at being post-modern without really understanding how and why this trope works. But it is fantastic. 

I did find myself liking John Self, although he seems a tad too erudite and to have a bit too much of an extensive vocabulary to be of a piece with the sort of lowlife character he's supposed to be. Anyways, stopped reading yer man since he started writing all that dubious muslim-bashing stuff.

Amis has said the point was to create a character who's, discordantly, an oikish thug externally but beautifully eloquent internally, in homage to some Saul Bellow book or other. Maybe that's just a way of rationalising a total disconnect at the core of the character, or maybe that was in his intent, but either way it's incongruous, doesn't ring true and doesn't work for a lot of people. It certainly struck me as strange when I first read Money but I just ran with it.

non capisco

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 12:06:28 AM »
It's way too long and I think having Amis as a character in the book was pretty unnecessary and cringey

Although worth it for the mental image of Kingsley Amis allegedly throwing his son's book "across the room" in disgust when he got to that bit.

zomgmouse

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2019, 08:47:05 AM »
I read this ages ago, late high school I think, maybe early uni days. I remember thinking it was brilliant back then; no idea what I'd make of it now. I apparently really liked London Fields as well though I have little recollection of it. Dead Babies was gruelling and unpleasant but I think I liked that. I do like the macabreness of the term "dead babies" to describe a topic or event that is just too horrific and serious to get into so you have to wave it away. Haven't read another Amis but maybe I'll give him another go at some point; there's a film that recently came out called Out of Blue which is based on Night Train so maybe I'll read that.

Speaking of adaptations did anyone see the Money adaptation with Nick Frost? I remember trying to get my hands on that for ages.

Egyptian Feast

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Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2019, 11:47:25 AM »
I read this ages ago, late high school I think, maybe early uni days. I remember thinking it was brilliant back then; no idea what I'd make of it now. I apparently really liked London Fields as well though I have little recollection of it. Dead Babies was gruelling and unpleasant but I think I liked that. I do like the macabreness of the term "dead babies" to describe a topic or event that is just too horrific and serious to get into so you have to wave it away. Haven't read another Amis but maybe I'll give him another go at some point; there's a film that recently came out called Out of Blue which is based on Night Train so maybe I'll read that.

Speaking of adaptations did anyone see the Money adaptation with Nick Frost? I remember trying to get my hands on that for ages.

I "acquired" it not long after reading the book a couple of years back. I thought it was alright for the most part, not entirely successful but an enjoyable enough watch with a decent performance from Frost. Mind you, I did cringe like fuck when he said he'd decided to change his name to John People or something like that at the end. Yuk.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Martin Amis - 'Money'
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2019, 01:17:08 PM »
I do like the macabreness of the term "dead babies" to describe a topic or event that is just too horrific and serious to get into so you have to wave it away.

I only managed to get that to make sense in my head by mentally inserting a comma between the two words to mean something like, but worse than, Old Hat:

"Hey man, what about this?"
"That's totally dead, baby!"