Reviews

Issue: Aug 2012

Lionel Asbo / Martin Amis

  • Lionel Asbo /

It’s possibly the most anticipated novel of the year. Martin Amis is back with a savage satire on the state of England.

Of course, Amis is interested in the new England, so to speak, the one that’s all about footballer’s wives, punks, pubs, pornography, chavs and tabloid celebrities.

Set in the fictitious suburb of Diston, we find the novel’s 15-year-old hero Desmond Pepperdine being introduced to us by his letter to an agony aunt in the Morning Lark—which speaks about his incestuous relationship with his granny, Grace. His mother is dead and Des is looked after by his Uncle Lionel, a psychotic thug who lives off violence and whose work buddies, Joe and Jeff, are two vicious pitbulls.

Everything suddenly goes topsy-turvy when Lionel murders one of Des’s schoolmates on suspicion of sleeping with granny Grace, ends up in jail and then wins 50p short of £140 million in a lottery. Soon, he’s hired a PR agent, is in love with a Katie Price-like model called Threnody and finds himself among cars, champagne, and suits “of a truly presidential costliness”. But, deep down, has Lionel really changed?

Packed with prose that fizz and buzz and leave you stunned with their accuracy, this is a glorious send-up of all that’s wrong with England. With an unmatched (though often imitated) swagger on the page, it’s no surprise that Amis is called the Mick Jagger of literature.

Read more in the August 2012 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.

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This article first appeared in August 2012 issue of Hi! BLITZ magazine

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