Saturday, 20 February 2010



The root of Martin Amis's anger

Dear Martin Amis, You complain about the "reckless distortions" and "chaotic perceptions" of you in the press (Review, 13 February). You seem bemused, hurt and outraged. Perhaps a closer and more honest look at yourself in relation to others could be one explanation? Two stories from my own experience of you illuminate what I mean.

First, you visited Mark Boxer, my husband, when he was dying. You came with Chris Hitchens. Mark was exhausted because you stayed far too long. You smoked over his bed. I later learned the length of visit was not borne just of affection, but you were filling in time before you caught a plane at Heathrow. You wrote a piece about your feelings and tears as you left. I saw no evidence of these.

Second, Mark asked you to be god­father to our daughter Claire. She was six when he died and when later she was reading English at University said she was studying Martin Amis and did I know anything about him? Oddly enough, I told her, he's your godfather. We invited you to lunch. You paid scant attention to Claire (didn't even cough up the statutory five bob expected from godfathers!) and she hasn't heard from you since.

Can I suggest this level of ­narcissism and inability to empathise may be at the root of your anger with the press and your need to court attention? As ever,

Anna Ford


Luvvies, eh, what are they like?


Anonymous said...

Luvvies, eh, what are they like?"
Bloody awful if you want my opinion and the worse paty of it they breed.

yardarm said...

And we are continually told this berk is the best writer in the country. Years ago I ploughed through one and a bit of his books. All I remember is a warning, hard wired into my cerebral cortex never to touch one of the fucking things again. Apart from that, to quote Spike Millgan ' it left an indelible blank on my mind '.

I wouldn`t pay Aimless to write a fucking shopping list. Intellectual ? I`ve worked with cleverer blokes who haven`t read a book since they left school.

lilith said...

Money amused me a very long time ago, but couldn't manage anything else...All I can remember about it now is the protagonist smoking in a non smoking taxi. Oh, and gob grave stones.

mrs narcolept said...

Mr Amis can rest easy; most people have no chaotic perceptions of him on account of not having one single clue who he may be.

mongoose said...

Amis? Twat. He is disappointed that he is half the writer that his father was. He is now circling the drain, his emperor's new clothes in tatters.

Verge said...

K.A.'s Memoirs were quite good, and "The King's English" is worth keeping close at hand, but I could never get my head round the prose in his fiction. Slaughtering M.A. is a media establishment bloodsport that's been going on as long as I can remember. He wrote an entertaining piece once about a non-interview with Madonna - eventually cancelled "because you're too famous" he was informed by Her People - naturally he wrote he understood completely, same problem himself, Amis groupies mobbing him at the airport etc. Not his greatest gag but it was just a pocket-money piece in the Observer or somesuch. Couple of years later, this groupie thing was quoted context-free in Time Out as proof of his overweening egomania. Same schtick Friday night on Late Review. Maybe he is a cunt, I wouldn't know. But who cares. His good stuff - Money, London Fields, Experience - is much more entertaining and rewarding than anything the Newsnight shower (Toby fucking Young, Lady-Love-Your-Cunt Greer et al) have ever written. He's made me laugh out loud as hard as Stanislav, and that's saying something.

mongoose said...

Lucky Jim, Mr Verge, is worth a read.

I have not read London Fields and people do say that it is his best. I am afraid to. It might weaken my distaste for the freak. In this case, we must not let the facts get in the way of our prejudices.

call me ishmael said...

Here, in Ishmaelia, we keep Amis senior's English close at hand, although the better handbook is George Orwell's 40's essay on language among the political class - which I keep meaning to reprint here and promise to do; the former is not as comprehensive as Gower's and the latter just,in pointing out what to avoid, sets you free to write as you - rather than cheap cliche and convention - please.

I enjoyed Money, too, but quickly came to detest wotsisname,Keith, Martin, that's it, Martin; people following in the family creative business seems so shamelessly vulgar but mainly I could, once seen, never rid my mind of the image of the prat sucking-in, through his teeth, as he flamboyantly searched for whichever metapolysyllabic word he had gleaned from that morning's dictionary search and was now deploying as though he had known it ever, cunt. It's like mr elby says in the last post, a one-note guitar solo, that's all it needs to be, everything else is superfluous.

If, indeed, this shitty, fucked-up, wanky Daddy's boy really is deemed the best writer in the land then that is quite appropriate to out time of Ruin, Martin Teeth, the best we can do.

Verge said...

Does anyone say he's the best, though? Or is there just a general assumption that he thinks he is and buckets of shite flow accordingly? Never mind - hardly any bastard reads any more anyway, and all the really interesting stuff tends to slip under the radar of broadsheet literary A-lists & TV gobshite. I remember dutifully trying to get through a Booker Prize winner years ago by Ben Okri, and giving up in stupefied dismay. Maybe someone should firebomb a few branches of Waterstone's, and enter the ashes for the Turner Prize.

lilith said...

Now there's a thought Mr Verge!