4.10.06

House of Meetings

"For all its incidental comic felicities, a reader could finish reading Martin Amis’s Yellow Dog (2003) feeling that too much had been sacrificed to the jokes; it is not that Amis’s distinctive gifts have ever been self-effacing ones, but there were moments in that book when the world was being just too deliberately shrunk to fit the satire’s demands. Darius the “seven-foot Seventh Day Adventist” couldn’t be six-foot-eleven, or indeed five-foot-six, just as Clint Smoker had to live in the geographically impractical location of Foulness – not in the interests of plot or character, but in order to feed the punchline. To move from such Technicolor knock-about to the sombre grey-scale in which House of Meetings lives is to encounter an almost completely different author, to negotiate a shift between moral worlds as well as palettes."

[full TLS review]

9 comments:

Hein said...

i can not wait.

nico said...

It came out in the UK last Thursday. The guy in Exclusive Books told me it should be here in a couple of weeks.

Let me know when you see it on the shelf and I'll do the same.

Hein said...

right'o

the people at exclusive told me the same thing when i called.

iv said...

I never read Yellow Dog...but if this one follows the trend of Time's Arrow, I am sure that I would love it.

Hein said...

H iv

Yellow Dog is probably his weakest work. His best are Money, Dead Babies, London Fields and his deeply moving autobiography Experience.

nico said...

Hein, what about The Information?
But, I agree Experience is probably his best.

iv said...

I also thought the Information was the best...London fields, second.

Time's Arrow intrigued me though...all those base experiences detailed backwards...

Hein said...

make no mistake, Information is my favorite amis fiction. However, i regard it as a very "male" book, dealing with the world of the lost
man. That's the only reason i didn't recommend it.

nico said...

Ah, fair enough.
BTW, I'm also looking forward to Cormac McCarthy's The Road.