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Chance's Take on Books

I'm a novelist who loves to read and discuss all things word-bound.

Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style
Virginia Tufte
The Chicago Manual of Style
John Grossman, Margaret D. Mahan
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Steve Earle
Money - Martin Amis
The experience of reading Money was sad, pathetic, funny—though I hated to laugh—shallow and stupid, then, just as I slipped into a careless ignorance and began to judge it, wrongly, glimmers emerged of rare depth and perceptiveness of certain segments of humanity, and although those segments are not interesting unto themselves, the painting of them here was slick and masterful. I was close to despising the novel, what a waste of time, paper and ink, then, powerful prose set in and I was awed. Despite myself. Who cares about a fat doofus, alcohol and porn -addicted, woman-beating, slob of a man with only money to love, if you can call it that? He was of no interest to me at all. Drunk humor wears thin quickly.

The author set himself in the novel, just a bit player at first, but of course his character shines at the end. Is it the ego who insists upon such things? Let Martin indulge himself, I thought, but what a cheap device....trust me, on hindsight, it worked in a way that was somewhat interesting. The plot, once it got started was imaginative and unique, but I could have abandoned the book long before it became interesting. Stubbornness comes in handy sometimes, because I'm glad I finished it.

John Self, the protagonist softens—the downfall that follows is well earned, but he gathers a little respect in the recovery. In essence, a thick-headed numbskull with few redeeming qualities, grows enough to register as human, then takes a tremendous tumble. He gains humanity only after all is lost. The twisted plot of his undoing is unveiled nicely, but all in all, while I'm satisfied with the character development, he was such an arse that I can't say I cheered.

So, no recommendations from me on this novel. However, I'm open to trying other works by Martin Amis.