London Fields [NOOK Book]

Overview

London Fields is Amis's murder story for the end of the millennium. The murderee is Nicola Six, a "black hole" of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts. Or is the killer the rich, honorable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch?


From the Trade Paperback ...
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London Fields

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Overview

London Fields is Amis's murder story for the end of the millennium. The murderee is Nicola Six, a "black hole" of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts. Or is the killer the rich, honorable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch?


From the Trade Paperback edition.

In this wildly ambitious and funny novel, one of England's brilliant young writers relates two murders in the making. The first is the self-orchestrated extinction of Nicola Six. The second is the murder of the Earth itself, whose fate seems intricately bound up with Nicola's.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this very British tale, femme fatale Nicola Six manipulates racist, sexist scoundrel Keith Talent and well-mannered, naive Guy Clinch as an omniscient narrator/novelist spies on the trio in order to develop his book. ``Relentlessly bitter, often brutally funny, hypnotically readable, it may also be quite opaque in places to an American readership.''
Library Journal
Amis' disappointing...novel follows the machinations of promiscuous Nicola Six, a psychic who senses that she is to be murdered by one of two men she meets in a London bar. She systematically humiliates both--prole darts champ Keith and posh, ineffectual Guy--only to discover that for once her powers have misled her. Set ``at the end of the millennium'' against the background of a vaguely defined political/ecological/cosmological crisis, this novel is far longer than its thin content warrants. What can Amis have against these minimally developed characters that he devotes nearly 500 pages to demolishing them? There's disgust aplenty here--but little else. -- Grove Koger, Boise Public Library, Idaho
Library Journal
Amis' disappointing...novel follows the machinations of promiscuous Nicola Six, a psychic who senses that she is to be murdered by one of two men she meets in a London bar. She systematically humiliates both--prole darts champ Keith and posh, ineffectual Guy--only to discover that for once her powers have misled her. Set ``at the end of the millennium'' against the background of a vaguely defined political/ecological/cosmological crisis, this novel is far longer than its thin content warrants. What can Amis have against these minimally developed characters that he devotes nearly 500 pages to demolishing them? There's disgust aplenty here--but little else. -- Grove Koger, Boise Public Library, Idaho
Michiko Kakutani
A comic murder mystery, an apocalyptic satire, a scatological meditation on love and death and nuclear winter...by turns lyrical and obscene, colloquial and rhapsodic. -- The New York Times
Library Journal
Amis's (www.martinamisweb.com) darkly comic look at late 20th-century London and the despairing state of Western civilization was originally published in 1989 and is newly available on audio (the only other recording, on audiocassette, is no longer available). At the book's center are failed criminal/aspiring professional darts player Keith Talent; Guy Clinch, a rich, bored banker; Guy's son, Marmaduke, arguably the most horrendous infant in all of literature; Nicola Six, a party girl with a death wish; and the unreliable narrator, Sam Young, an American with writer's block. As these and assorted other colorful characters interact, Amis considers the not-always-fulfilled allures of love and fame. Adopting a gruff American accent, British actor Steven Pacey captures Sam's fascination with the characters' blunders and his barely concealed desire to manipulate their fates. This superb audio treatment of a great novel will appeal to those who enjoy serious fiction that attempts to encompass societal woes without being didactic. Darts fans may also be amused.—Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.
From the Publisher
"A comic murder mystery, an apocalyptic satire, a scatological meditation on love and death and nuclear winter...by turns lyrical and obscene, colloquial and rhapsodic." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307743978
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 243,300
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

MARTIN AMIS is the author of fourteen novels, the memoir Experience, several collections of stories, and six nonfiction books. He lives in Brooklyn.

JOHN SUTHERLAND is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at University College London and a regular columnist at The Guardian.

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
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2003

    Not For The Masses

    This work can best be appreciated if: 1.) You are an Anglophile 2.) You have read all (or most of) the literary works referenced in this book. While many critics have analyzed Martin's exquisite prose (and unusual style) in this novel as being a postmodern display of the Apocalypse written in English (with a notable Professor linking the four main characters as The Horsemen), why not appreciate this work as it stands? It grabs you from the start, builds the readers' interest in the characters and plot, titillates every lobe of their combined consciousness, and delivers!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2002

    Correction of review inaccuracies

    A great book - hilarious and repulsive in equal parts and very much a novel of its time. Sadly, other reviews have included some errors which should be set straight. Anyone claiming that there is no murder clearly did not make it to the end of the book. There is a murder and we discover the identity of the murderer. Likewise it is worth pointing out that Nicola Six is not a psychic who has a premonition of who will murder her - she knows who it will be because she judges in that person a capacity to kill and then manipulates events towards that end. Any suggestion that she has mysterious telepathic powers can only be due to a very flawed reading of the novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002

    Titillating? Yes. Fascinating? Yes. Genius? No.

    I concur with the previous reviewer who laments another reader's assertion that no murder occurs. However, the reviewer's indignation over calling Nicola Six a psychic is misplaced. I've read this book over 100 times and Amis mentions more than once that Nicola "always knew what was going to happen", even as a child. That cleared up, I think it's necessary to mention that Martin Amis can be more facile with the English language than almost any other writer but comes on a bit heavy handed when he's philosophizing. Read this book for the same reasons you watch a lurid B movie. An anglophile like myself will wallow in his descriptions of life on the Portobello Road, but those less enamored of British society may be left cold.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    Keith Talent rocks!

    This is a murder mystery with a catch; there's nobody killed. We are told that nicola will be murdered soon at the very beginning of the novel so all throughout the book while we're trying to figure out who the murderer is there's still no one murdered. That in itself is interesting and Amis's skill would earn him four stars at least, but the greatest part about this book is watching the characters, namely Keith Talent. Keith Talent is a kind of Don Quixote of London Fields. I enjoyed the story and the writing, but it just doesn't compare to how much i enjoyed watching to see what Keith would do next. Hilarious!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Silverkit

    Pads in. She looked around for Silverkits Ghost and laid down sadly

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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