A fascinating look inside a disowned and ultra-rare early book by Martin Amis: a guide to video games.
Arrows is a documentary by a genius, John Samson, whose flame burned briefly but brightly, about another genius, Eric Bristow, whose career followed a similar trajectory. The film reflects a twilight world of pub sports satirised by Martin Amis in his masterpiece London Fields. Last link may cause discomfort. [more inside]
In 1991 during the publicity tour for Harlot's Ghost, Martin Amis interviewed Norman Mailer (pt. 2, pt. 3, and pt. 4). Topics covered include the CIA, the Democratic Party, liberalism, communism, the writing life, being Jewish, feminism, the men’s movement, homosexuality, George Bush, and the Kennedys.
Martin Amis hates children, ok, not children but children's literature. "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis said, in a sideways excursion from a chat about John Self, the antihero of his 1984 novel Money. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable." Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers.
Shame on him for saying it, and shame on us for tolerating it. In an article in Monday's Guardian, the writer Ronan Bennett argued that the lack of a popular outcry against Martin Amis' remarks about Islam (covered previously) represents a cultural failure that ought to shame us. Yesterday, Christopher Hitchens and Ian McEwan wrote attacking Bennett and defending Amis. Perhaps they ought to have deployed a slideshow.
The age of horrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Martin Amis analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.
The Art of James Bond captures the aesthetic of a character Martin Amis called "lonely, melancholic, in some way ravaged... dark and brooding in expression, of a cold or cynical veneer, and above all enigmatic, in possession of a sinister secret." Of course, the movies are a different story.
Stalin, Hitler, Guilt, Finger-Pointing And Friendship: Timothy Garton-Ash reviews, a trifle superciliously but fairly, a very lively and soul-searching polemic between two consummate, consuming and irresistible writers, Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens - who also happen to be old friends. Funnily enough, I'd suggest reading Hitchens's review in the Atlantic Monthly first; then the three  extracts from  Amis's book  and, finally, Hitchens's reply to them. All in all, it's that rare thing: a long, juicy, well-written and passionately argued polemic with plenty of insights into how generations come to terms with the honest indiscretions and oversights of their youth. Oh and there's a lot about communism, nazism, totalitarianism and the Sixties too...
Why Are Left-Wing Brits Like Hitchens, Amis And Rushdie Supporting President Bush? In this terrific article, The New Statesman's John Lloyd dares to pose the question. To which I would add my own: so far as the campaign against terrorism is concerned, isn't the standard Right/Left dichotomy becoming an increasingly American thang? [Please look inside Ty Webb's "Axis of Evil" post for an interesting discussion on the Hitchens/Bush (dis)connection]
YA Guardian Opinion Piece It's a worrying day for me when I agree with Martin Amis. I particularly like the reference at the end to "species-conciousness". Do you have "species-consciousness"?
Martin Amis writes: 'Our best destiny, as planetary cohabitants, is the development of what has been called "species consciousness" - something over and above nationalisms, blocs, religions, ethnicities.' Naively idealistic or something to hope for?