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Posts Tagged ‘Black Comedy’

Book Reviews: London Fields by Martin Amis

Posted by the editors on Monday, 9 January 2012

Book Reviews: London Fields (1989) by Martin Amis (Night Train (1997), Yellow Dog (2003), The Pregnant Widow (2010).  This black comedy murder mystery set in 1999 in London, Amis’ sixth novel, is thought by many to be his best, and a masterpiece of London fiction.  With a truly end-of-the-world setting, impending nuclear doom, environmental chaos, violence, and hopelessness, London Fields offers, frankly, little cheer, though it does offer Amis a chance to write in his superb, sharp, inspired, descriptive style.  There are wonderful character descriptions and a fine ear for London’s multi-cultural street talk, and its social disparities, from truly seedy pubs, to City bankers’ splendid homes.  Comedy, satire and symbolism are given full reign, and in fact, the symbolism does at times get heavy-handed.  A millennium novel full of sex, violence, the questioning of literary, media, and other, reliability, impending disaster, and darts (yes, darts), London Fields is an essential read, of course, for all fans of Martin Amis, and for those interested in dynamic, contemporary writing, who don’t mind an overdose, perhaps, of symbolism. (PR)

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