The murderee is Nicola Six, a 'black hole' of sex and self-loathing who is intend on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts; or the rich, honourable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch. And as Nicola leads her suitors towards the precipice, London - and, indeed, the whole world - seems to shamble after them in a corrosively funny novel of complexity and morality.
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I was totally drawn in with this book, swept away, mesmerised with the characters. I loved the story, the people, I laughed, I shook my head, I couldn't have stopped listening for anything. But I got to the end and thought, I haven't a clue what that was all about. Yet I loved it.
It's one, I think, that you've got to concentrate on. Amis is incredibly witty and clever, and I kind of felt like I was peeking in the head of a VERY clever man. If you've read any Clive James, it's a similar style.
However, if a narrator can make or break a book, as they so often do, this narrator is superb! He brings everyone to life, not just, 'yeah, i can imagine that,' but fully to life so you feel as though you'd recognise them if they walked past you on the street or spoke to you in a pub.
The other impression I got is one of confusion, not over the writing, certainly not over the writing, but over the characters. I felt as though I should hate the people in this. Some of them are truly awful, but I couldn't wait for them to come back into the story, and I liked spending time with them, which felt odd and uncomfortable but safely uncomfortable, if that makes sense.
I wouldn't recommend this as a story to dip in and out of in short bursts, but if you're going on a long trip or have a chunk of time to dedicate uninterrupted, then go for it!
I'm on part two so I'm about 9 hours in. Is it alright if I tell you I don't really know what is happening apart from a bloke who is writing a book about what is going on around him supported by a bunch of odd-bods who are providing the real life plot? It is a bit seedy. There is stuff about darts in it, that much I know.
Is it alright if I say this is Steven Pacey but not as we know him so be careful and whatever you do don't be put off this narrator? He is using an American accent on this one. I love this man and often seek him out on here.
And...Is it alright to say I bought this because my bookshelf (rarely used these days thanks to Audible) is a bit snobby and I sometimes like to pretend that I'm all cerebral and clever? I thought it was time for a classic author.
But, we trust each other on here and I have to tell you that this one is quite a trawl. I've just bought three more audio books so that I can leave this one for something more gripping and come back to it. I'll see it through and I do sort of wonder if the woman who has chosen to be murdered on her birthday really means it and indeed if the completely weird bloke she has chosen to do it even knows what she is all about. If you are doing this because you want to familiarise yourself with Martin Amis then go no further than the Zone of Interest which I also bought because of my book-snobbery but have now listened to twice. That one is truly moving. I also read Times Arrow on real paper once and loved that.
Oh, I just looked up the spelling of the word weird which keeps being auto corrected. Apparently the oxford English changed it to an I before E spelling in 2009.
I must go and be an un-snob because I have book one of Logan McRae and can't wait to get started on it...