Quando il «marito da sogno» Xan Meo viene aggredito per vendetta in un pub londinese, insieme al trauma cranico porta a casa disturbi della personalità e un'idea fissa: il sesso. Con l'entusiasmo e la determinazione del neofita, il modello di virtù famigliari diventa un anti-marito e anti-padre. Veniamo introdotti nei mondi capovolti di Clint Smoker, il giornalista che si firma «Cane Giallo», schiavo del Viagra; Joseph Andrews, il malavitoso che crede di essere un personaggio di Henry Fielding; e Royce Traynor, ...
Quando il «marito da sogno» Xan Meo viene aggredito per vendetta in un pub londinese, insieme al trauma cranico porta a casa disturbi della personalità e un'idea fissa: il sesso. Con l'entusiasmo e la determinazione del neofita, il modello di virtù famigliari diventa un anti-marito e anti-padre. Veniamo introdotti nei mondi capovolti di Clint Smoker, il giornalista che si firma «Cane Giallo», schiavo del Viagra; Joseph Andrews, il malavitoso che crede di essere un personaggio di Henry Fielding; e Royce Traynor, un cadavere che cerca, persino da morto, di far precipitare l'aereo su cui viaggia la moglie. Nel frattempo, esploriamo le disavventure boccaccesche di una famiglia reale allo sbando: un Enrico IX ricattato perché, sfortuna vuole, la figlia Vittoria è stata filmata in pose compromettenti. «Se nel tuo cuore alberga l'ammirazione per l'estrema bellezza femminile, potrai rifarti gli occhi su mia moglie - la bocca, gli occhi, gli zigomi aerodinamici (e la luce di un'alta intelligenza: andava fierissimo dell'intelligenza di lei). O ancora, se la tua anima si scioglie al vivo ardore di un'infanzia mirabilmente graziosa, sana e ben educata, allora ci invidierai le nostre... E via. E avrebbe potuto continuare : Ma io, d'altronde, sono un marito da sogno: genitore al 50% con la madre, amante tenero e puntuale, sostentatore affidabile, divertente compagno, tuttofare versatile e disponibile, cuoco fine e accurato, nonché talentuoso massaggiatore che, per giunta (e malgrado occasioni il cui attributo più esatto sarebbe "ampie"), non farfalleggia mai... La verità era che lui sapeva cosa significasse essere un cattivo marito, un marito da incubo; che lo aveva provato la prima volta; ed era stata una catastrofe...»
Martin Amis carried the nickname of “enfante terrible of British literature” far past his youthful debut at 24. His novels focus on excesses -- drugs, sex, money -- prompting Christopher Buckley to note in The New York Times in 1995 that “his terrain is the junkyard of the human psyche” and “Mr. Amis is his generation’s top literary dog.”
The son of legendary English writer Kingley Amis, Martin Amis was born in Oxford in 1949 and attended a number of schools in Great Britain, Spain, and America. By his own admission he was a lackluster student. He spent much of his youth reading comic books, until his stepmother, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, took him under her wing, introducing him to literature and encouraging him to study for university entrance. After months of furious cramming, he was accepted into Exeter College in Oxford, graduating with First Class Honors in English.
After graduation, Amis went to work as an editorial assistant at The Times Literary Supplement. In 1973, at the tender of age of 24, he published his award-winning debut novel, The Rachel Papers. Rife with the mordant black humor that would characterize all his fiction, this comic coming-of-age tale was a fitting debut for a career that would be fixated on sex, drugs, and the seamier aspects of modern culture. It also proved to be the first in a long string of bestsellers.
Amis is often grouped with the generation of British-based novelists that emerged during the 1980s and included Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Julian Barnes; but it is safe to say he has generated more controversy than his esteemed colleagues. No one feels neutral about Amis's novels. In a 1999 profile in Esquire, Sven Birkerts put it this way: "He is seen either as a cynically chugging bubble machine, way overrated for his hammy turns, or else as a dazzler, the next real thing."
In addition to his provocative fiction, Amis has grabbed more than his fair share of attention for antics off the page. Graced with youthful good looks, he enjoyed a reputation as a notorious womanizer (not unlike his famous father). Much photographed and buzzed about, he was dubbed early on the "enfant terrible" of English literature -- two parts writer, one part rock star. He attracted headlines like a magnet when he left his wife and children for a younger woman; when he fired his longtime literary agent, the wife of his good friend Julian Barnes; and when his new agent (unaffectionately nicknamed "the Jackal) secured for him an advance of 500,000 pounds, 20,000 pounds of which Amis spent on expensive American dental surgery.
Although reviewers are divided over Amis's long-range literary legacy, even his harshest critics begrudgingly acknowledge his stylistic genius, verbal agility, and biting, satirical wit. The novels for which he is best known (and most respected) comprise an informal trilogy: Money (1984), London Fields (1989), and The Information (1995). In addition, he has written short stories, essays, a nonfiction work on 20th-century communism, and an acclaimed memoir, Experience, detailing his relationship with his father, his writing career, and his convoluted family life. He also contributes regularly to newspapers, magazines, and journals.
Good To Know
Amis attended more than 13 schools while growing up in Great Britain, Spain and the United States.
He was named the "rock star of English literature" by the London Daily Telegraph in 1996.
Amis was profoundly shocked and grieved to discover that his long-lost, beloved cousin Lucy Partington, thought to have simply disappeared in 1973, had fallen victim to Fred West, one of England's most notorious serial killers.
In a much-publicized reunion in 1996, Amis met for the first time a young woman named Delilah Seale who was his daughter from a brief 1970s affair.
Amis has been influenced by several American novelists, including Philip Roth and John Updike, but none so profoundly as Saul Bellow, who became a mentor and something of a father figure.