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The Crack Magazine

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Inside Story by Martin Amis

Look, I can’t lie, there used to be a time when the latest book by Martin Amis was bought, consumed and boosted. There then followed many bleak years when I approached anything he wrote (and even said) with caution especially during, what I call his ‘I feel the hand of history on my shoulder’ phase. Inside Story, however, seemed an intriguing prospect, a memoir as ‘novel’ but I was quickly ground down by all the familiar tropes which he subverted (or hid) far more successfully in his memoir, Experience. Mart has always assumed he’s cool, but by using turns of phrase like, “He Pulled her”, or “He listened to the reggae on Portobello Rd”, just makes him seem like a bit of a try hard. And what that the hell is that ‘the’ doing before reggae, “the reggae”, yeh mon. He also thinks he’s a better writer than he is and, sure, he’s not capable of writing a bad sentence, but he’s certainly capable of writing a boring one. That never used to be the case. My feeling is that the young Amis would hate what the middle-aged Amis has turned into: a slightly stuffy, dead white male obsessed, fogey. And it’s disappointing but maybe not surprising, that, though he claims he likes strong, independent women, on the evidence of this book, whatever else they do, he doesn’t think many of them can write. I guess the bleak years continue.

Publ. by Vintage - £9.99

Steven Long

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