Money by Martin Amis

Valerie’s review

This writer is so despicable, I love him. Can’t help but respect the style; his language and technique is like Nabokov, with an unstable, sociopathic narrator. Brit slang, lovably human, self-destructive type. He uses money as a ruse. A rubric to describe early 1980’s culture, to the extreme.

John Self gives up porn and can’t get hard when he falls in love. And then he has no money – such are the changes in a man’s life. His toothache, stalker, lack of self control and the language flips out so fast, vulgar and literal, with a brusque British charm. He has a raunchy honesty of testosterone, yet with his finger on the pulse of femininity, showing sensitive anticipation. Inserting Martin Amis, the Writer, into the story – brilliant. Irony thick. Hate toward women apparent. But! Still lovable.

“I lay there, a sixteen-stone teardrop, blinking, smarting, all made of salt.”

“I’m getting chicked … I have tried in the past to feminize myself. I womanized for years – it didn’t work.”

“The dog was twisting himself inside out to be off and away among all this risky human color. We untethered him. At first he ran in widening circles, with his tongue practically thrown over his shoulder like a scarf. Then he paused, and sat in profile, erect and civic minded, the posture of a chess knight waiting quietly on the third rank, in sober contemplation of the choices to come.”

Mike’s response

Your description was tantalizing, but then I read the quotes. I don’t understand why British English is too dense for me, but it is. I’m okay reading words I don’t understand, used by authors attempting to impress or improve their Scrabble game, but Brits confuse me.

I still have no idea what Naked is about.


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