Real-Life Stories Amis, Martin Experience

ISBN 13: 9780099285823

Experience

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9780099285823: Experience

In this remarkable work of autobiography, the son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis explores his relationship with his father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley's life, including the final one of his death. Amis also reflects on the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain's most prolific serial murderers.

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Review:

At one point in this remarkable book, Martin Amis refers to a phrase he coined in a 1983 newspaper piece on Saul Bellow. "Higher autobiography", intended to convey a fork taken by late 20th century literature, lingers on the palate long after the final page, awash with pictures of his various children. He is no longer "the kid", as Bellow puts it to him after the death of father Kingsley in 1995, and this generational shift is sharply in evidence within the quietly smouldering pages of Experience. Shunning orthodox chronology for more satisfying linearity, Amis explores the issues that have dogged his life and his reputation for too long. Though he is angry--mostly with the English media--the tone of the book is one of patient memorial and reconciliation, with most obviously Kingsley, and his own manifestations, but also with his "missing"--the cousin, Lucy Partington, a victim of Fred West's "prepotence", and the daughter, Delilah, by an earlier relationship. Gossip column titbits are confronted head-on: divorce, the change of literary agent, the falling-out with Julian Barnes, the row with Kingsley's biographer Eric Jacobs and, of course, the Teeth (actually deserving of a full set of capitals; the hardest heart would flinch and whimper at the reconstructive surgery he endured, ignorantly disparaged as "cosmetic").

The revelation of the book, however, lies in the body of the book, in its weave and stitching. Copious footnotes adorn most pages, not digressive but novelistically collusive to a self-defeating desire to "speak without artifice". A book of love, it is also one of the funniest books ever to wear the cloak of death and mortality so constantly. Money was a novel, says Amis, about "the fear that childlessness will condemn you to childishness". This volume, about how many people leave a room compared to entering it--to quote a recurrent theme--exorcises that particular fear, and a more general dread that has perpetually haunted his prose. Experience, pitched between his splendid journalism and his fiction, is a wake-up call to those who have too easily dismissed his work. It is a considerable, haunting work. --David Vincent

Review:

"A scrupulous and candid writer" ( Guardian)

"His memoir is dazzling, provocative and mordant" (Arthur Smith The Week)

"Funny, sad, moving and absolutely riveting" ( Daily Telegraph)

"On virtually every page there is a phrase that is blissfully funny and ingenious...never less than compelling" ( Mail on Sunday)

"Three times in the reading of this book, the courage, compassion and simplicity of Amis's writing brought me to tears. As a portrait of sustaining love between a father and a son, Experience stands alone among the testaments" ( The Time)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this remarkable work of autobiography, the son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis explores his relationship with his father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley s life, including the final one of his death. Amis also reflects on the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain s most prolific serial murderers. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099285823

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this remarkable work of autobiography, the son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis explores his relationship with his father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley s life, including the final one of his death. Amis also reflects on the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain s most prolific serial murderers. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099285823

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Book Description 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 26mm. Paperback. In this remarkable work of autobiography, the son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis explores his relationship with his father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley's life.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 416 pages. 0.315. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099285823

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. Explores the author's relationship with his father. This title also reflects on the life and legacy of the author's cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain's prolific serial murderers. Num Pages: 416 pages, portraits. BIC Classification: BGA; DSBH; DSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 131 x 32. Weight in Grams: 318. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099285823

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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Book Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. Explores the author's relationship with his father. This title also reflects on the life and legacy of the author's cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain's prolific serial murderers. Num Pages: 416 pages, portraits. BIC Classification: BGA; DSBH; DSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 131 x 32. Weight in Grams: 318. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099285823

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Experience, Martin Amis, In this remarkable work of autobiography, the son of the great comic novelist Kingsley Amis explores his relationship with his father and writes about the various crises of Kingsley's life, including the final one of his death. Amis also reflects on the life and legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who disappeared without trace in 1973 and was exhumed twenty years later from the basement of Frederick West, one of Britain's most prolific serial murderers. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099285823

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