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Paperback London Fields Book

ISBN: 0679730346

ISBN13: 9780679730347

London Fields

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A blackly comic late 20th-century murder mystery set against the looming end of the millennium, in which a woman tries to orchestrate her own extinction--from "one of the most gifted novelists of his generation" (TIME). "Lyrical and obscene, colloquial and rhapsodic." --The New York Times First published in 1989, London Fields is set ten years into a dark future, against a backdrop of environmental and social decay and the looming...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Speed of Light

Okay, so Martin Amis has this thing about language, and it's undeniably impressive whether you can stand it or not. I personally enjoy reading the work of someone who has such command of the language, especially when it reads so well -- page-turning like Stephen King, but with substance like Henry James. (excuse me for that comparison, I'm sure it's bound to get a lot of sneers) Maybe I just like it because it makes me feel smart. (more sneers)I like Amis in general, but this is by FAR my favorite. Granted: It's wordy. It stretches believability at times. There are places where author ego creeps through. And the subject matter is reeeeally depressing. BUT... I've read it twice, and both times I have come away in the end feeling inspired, sated, and joyously uplifted. It's sick, hilarious (oh my god), peopled with incredibly vivid characters, and peppered with typical quoteworthy Martin Amisisms.Not only is it a satisfying read because of the mastery with which the story is told, but because of the story itself. Strange, I don't see anyone mentioning what I see as, finally, the most crucial thematic element of the book. It's supposedly about "the death of love," and this point is driven home ruthlessly from the beginning. And yet, even when the foretold ending comes about, Amis manages to put a gorgeous, beautiful little twist on what has been a pretty cynical, harrowing story. In the midst of all this nasty darkness there is, finally, at least one brilliant beam of pure sunlight. That, to me, is what London Fields is really about. "Love happens at the speed of light."It takes courage and a little patience, but I recommend London Fields with as many stars as you've got.

Amis the murderee

London Fields does require effort. It also rewards it like no other book I am aware of in contemporary fiction. I too aborted reading the book within 100 pages but given the extraordinary effects of Money, Dead Babies and Other People, I felt I ought to give Mart another go. I gave it another go. There is a depth and richness in this book that I see replicated practically nowhere else in modern writing. Amis himself calls it "The Long Novel". The book reeks talent in its characterisation and language. London Fields is a consummate piece of reality and fiction. It puts certain others of his work - Time's Arrow, The Information to shame and it places the entire works of the pretenders (hey! Will Self! Hi!) just.... subterranean.Buy this book. Give it the effort it needs to get beyond 100 - 150 pages. Reviews based on non-completion are obviously idiotic. When one gets through to reach this book's extraordinary conclusion, I for one would say it's a full dime shake up the spine; the knowledge that one has read a rare piece of imaginative fiction. London Fields does character, setting and language in a manner unmatched by Martin Amis' contemporaries or indeed by himself since. Off the top of the wave, it will give you a ride like no other. Buy.

Too clever by half? Martin Amis? What a woolly thought!

well if it's pretty prose you want you'll find it here, not exactly James Joyce or Cormac McCarthy but surely there is beauty in Mr Amis's choices of words and phrases. the plot is rip-roaring, the troika of Guy Clinch, Nicola Six and Keith Talent are well-drawn, and I've never been more amused (and frightened) by a character than I was by Keith Talent. the ending surprised me, the hard-core darts information was fun and enlightening, and of course the perspective was uniquely, inimitably Martin Amis -- in other words witty, clever, brash, sneaky, scary, tough, tender, cold, hateful, vengeful, admiring, loathing, and self-evaluative.Mr Amis's books are so different from one another that it's not surprising that some folks will say this one isn't as good as Money, or Time's Arrow, or Dead Babies, or The Rachel Papers. it's just a lot different from those books. London Fields *IS* vastly better than The Information, though. this was the first Martin Amis book I read, and while my favorite is Money, this one is a very close second.

The best book ever?

I've read this book five times now and the precision with which Amis chooses his words never fails to amaze me. Unlike some of his earlier books, he doesn't flex his undoubtedly huge vocabulary just to try and impress - in London Fields it is hard to see how the progress of Nicola Six towards the inevitable November 6 rendezvous could be better described.Apparently the structure of the novel, which is superficially very simple (girl wants to die, and does) yet incredibly complex, evolved rather than being planned from the start; Amis originally intended this as a short story rather than the weighty opus it is now. Although Keith was in the original draft, neither Guy nor Sam, the narrator, had yet been created. The use of the narrator as a character in his own right is, however, common to most of Amis' work and the novel would not ring true to type without him (read The Information afterwards to see what is missing from the later book). Other typical Amis features are the slightly odd character names and, as in Money, he can't resist a reference to himself (the wholly absent character of Mark Asprey, only revealed in his 'fantastically offensive' letters to Sam).As far as the final denouement is concerned, it must be one of the most delicious twists ever devised in fiction. The novel can be read as an account of Samson Young's spiritual redemption, in which he realises at the eleventh hour that what he has been writing is wrong - which is, of course, what Nicola had always known would happen. Rather naughtily, Amis throws his readers a teaser towards the end of the book (in one of Sam's tortured dreams) that hints at a different surprise ending to the true one.If there is a weak or clumsy spot in the book, it is Guy's failure to recognise the significance of Nicola's imaginary friend Enola Gay and her son Little Boy ('a little knowledge here just might have saved him'). Presumably this was done in order to contrast Guy's naivete further with Nicola's deviousness and Keith's working-class savoir-faire.There are some great comedy moments, including of course Keith's darts obsession, his late-night video viewing (six hours' worth fast-forwarded in 20 minutes while looking for images of sex/violence/money), his women and his appalling diet of ready-meals. His succinct explanation of why darts players only drink lager is so logical that it almost has to be true.Overall, though, London Fields becomes progressively darker in tone and the humour vanishes abruptly in the last act as Sam realises too late that 'a cross has four points, not three'. Nevertheless, the endpapers are not entirely bereft of hope, particularly for Kim Talent, Keith's baby daughter, whom Sam has rescued from abuse by her mother, herself abused by Keith. There is a final 'whydoit' question at the end of the book, addressed to Mark Asprey, who it transpires was, and still may be, Nicola's lover. Did Asprey set up the whole thing? Y
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