Dead Babies

( 6 )

Overview

If the Marquis de Sade were to crash one of P. G. Wodehouse's house parties, the chaos might resemble the nightmarishly funny goings-on in this novel by the author of London Fields. The residents of Appleseed Rectory have primed themselves both for a visit from a triad of Americans and a weekend of copious drug taking and sexual gymnastics. There's even a heifer to be slugged and a pair of doddering tenants to be ingeniously harassed. But none of these variously bright and dull young things has counted on the ...
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Dead Babies

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Overview

If the Marquis de Sade were to crash one of P. G. Wodehouse's house parties, the chaos might resemble the nightmarishly funny goings-on in this novel by the author of London Fields. The residents of Appleseed Rectory have primed themselves both for a visit from a triad of Americans and a weekend of copious drug taking and sexual gymnastics. There's even a heifer to be slugged and a pair of doddering tenants to be ingeniously harassed. But none of these variously bright and dull young things has counted on the intrusion of "dead babies" — dreary spasms of reality. Or on the uninvited presence of a mysterious prankster named Johnny, whose sinister idea of fun makes theirs look like a game of backgammon.

This nightmarishly funny novel by the internationally acclaimed author of London Fields displays Martin Amis at the top of his form as he describes a wildly decadent and grotesquely misfired weekend at an English country house.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
   • "Viciously funny, at once a hilarious joke and a technical triumph." --Financial Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679734499
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1991
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Vintage Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 788,937
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Amis
MARTIN AMIS is the author of twelve previous novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories and six collections of non-fiction, most recently The Second Plane. He lives in New York.

Biography

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.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Martin Louis Amis (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Oxford, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 25, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oxford, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2000

    Not for those with a weak stomach, but classic Amis.

    I find it interesting that Martin Amis has written essays brimming with contempt for William Burroughs' prose. In this novel he seems to be trying to create a British Naked Lunch. Dead Babies is decadent to the extreme, ludicrously if loosely plotted, and manages to provide moments for the reader of looking at the page in shock and horror, and then reading it again. Less of a social commentary than most of his other fiction, this book is purely an exercise in the comic grotesque, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Alec

    He walked to the baby and picked her up and ran to farmae( no typo) result two

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Stalker

    WHERE?!?! *Runs around then slams into a wall.*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Storm

    :O STALKER!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Jasper

    That's an odd rule... and glad you guessed it ^_^

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Stalker

    ._. Stalker done stalkin'.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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