The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

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9780099422228: The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

Like John Updike, Martin Amis is the pre-eminent novelist-critic of his generation. The War Against Cliché is a selection of his reviews and essays over the past quarter-century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, Waugh, Lowry, Nabokov, F. R. Leavis, V. S. Pritchett, William Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Angus Wilson, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Shiva and V. S. Naipaul, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Don DeLillo, Elmore Leonard, Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris - and John Updike.

Other subjects include chess, nuclear weapons, masculinity, screen censorship, juvenile violence, Andy Warhol, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher.

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Review:

In Martin Amis's War Against Cliché, a selection of critical essays and reviews published between 1971 and 2000, he establishes himself as one of the fiercest critics and commentators on the literature and culture of the late 20th century. (He has already established himself as one of the most controversial and original novelists writing in English with novels such as Money and Time's Arrow). In his "Foreword" Amis ruefully admits that his earlier reviews reveal a rather humourless attitude towards the "Literature and Society" debate of the time. Yet this only adds to the fascination of the collection, as Amis gradually finds his critical voice in the 1980s, confirming his passionate belief that "all writing is a campaign against cliché". In the subsequent sections of the book this war leads to some wonderfully cutting and amusing responses to whatever crosses his path, from books on chess and nuclear proliferation to the novels of his hero Vladimir Nabokov and Cervantes' Don Quixote. Praise for his literary heroes is often fulsome--JG Ballard's High-Rise "is an intense and vivid bestiary, which lingers in the mind and chronically disquiets it"--but his literary wrath is also devastating in its incisiveness. Thomas Harris's Hannibal is dismissed as "a novel of such profound and virtuoso vulgarity", whilst John Fowles is attacked because "he sweetens the pill: but the pill was saccharine all along". Often frank in its reappraisals (Amis conceded to being too hard on Ballard's Crash when reviewing the film many years later), some of the best writing is reserved for his journalism on sex manuals, chess and his beloved football. War Against Cliché will provoke strong reactions, but that only seems to confirm, rather than deny the value of Amis' writing. -- Jerry Brotton

Review:

"A tour de force in which every paragraph uncoils with vertiginous twists and turns, lightning metaphors, genuine learning, unstoppable laughter, and a passionate sense of literary pleasure" ( Independent)

"Amis's gifts - vigilance, wit, energy of language... A collection that reaffirms him as the suavest and funniest critic of his generation" ( Mail on Sunday)

"We have here a literary critic of startling power... Often being right and being funny are, in this book, aspects of the same sentence... Amis is the best practitioner-critic of our day - just what Pritchett was in his prime..." ( London Review of Books)

"[Written] with intelligence and ardor and panache... Speaks not just to a lifetime of reading but also to a fascination with individual writers mature" ( New York Times)

"Brilliant prose... [Amis] proselytizes for talent by demonstrating it, by doing it... He is a master" ( New York Times Book Review)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Like John Updike, Martin Amis is the pre-eminent novelist-critic of his generation. The War Against Cliche is a selection of his reviews and essays over the past quarter-century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, Waugh, Lowry, Nabokov, F. R. Leavis, V. S. Pritchett, William Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Angus Wilson, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Shiva and V. S. Naipaul, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Don DeLillo, Elmore Leonard, Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris - and John Updike. Other subjects include chess, nuclear weapons, masculinity, screen censorship, juvenile violence, Andy Warhol, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099422228

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Like John Updike, Martin Amis is the pre-eminent novelist-critic of his generation. The War Against Cliche is a selection of his reviews and essays over the past quarter-century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, Waugh, Lowry, Nabokov, F. R. Leavis, V. S. Pritchett, William Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Angus Wilson, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Shiva and V. S. Naipaul, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Don DeLillo, Elmore Leonard, Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris - and John Updike. Other subjects include chess, nuclear weapons, masculinity, screen censorship, juvenile violence, Andy Warhol, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099422228

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Book Description 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 31mm. Paperback. A selection of Martin Amis' reviews and essays over the past quarter century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 528 pages. 0.366. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099422228

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Book Description Vintage, 2002. Book Condition: New. "War Against Cliche" is a collection of essays. Num Pages: 528 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: 3JJPL; 3JJPN; 3JJPR; DNF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 236 x 133 x 33. Weight in Grams: 392. . 2002. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099422228

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000, Martin Amis, Like John Updike, Martin Amis is the pre-eminent novelist-critic of his generation. The War Against Cliche is a selection of his reviews and essays over the past quarter-century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, Waugh, Lowry, Nabokov, F. R. Leavis, V. S. Pritchett, William Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Angus Wilson, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Shiva and V. S. Naipaul, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Don DeLillo, Elmore Leonard, Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris - and John Updike. Other subjects include chess, nuclear weapons, masculinity, screen censorship, juvenile violence, Andy Warhol, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099422228

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Like John Updike, Martin Amis is the pre-eminent novelist-critic of his generation. The War Against Cliche is a selection of his reviews and essays over the past quarter-century. It contains pieces on Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Dickens, Kafka, Philip Larkin, Joyce, Waugh, Lowr. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099422228_rkm

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. "War Against Cliche" is a collection of essays. Num Pages: 528 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: 3JJPL; 3JJPN; 3JJPR; DNF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 236 x 133 x 33. Weight in Grams: 392. . 2002. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099422228

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