Inside Story: A novel (Hardcover)
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From one of the most highly acclaimed writers at work today: his most intimate and epic work yet--an autobiographical novel of sex and love, family and friendship.
This novel had its birth in the death of Martin Amis's closest friend, the incomparable Christopher Hitchens, and it is within that profound and sprawling friendship that Inside Story unfurls. From their early days as young magazine staffers in London, reviewing romantic entanglements and the latest literary gossip (not to mention ideas, books, and where to lunch), Hitch was Amis's wingman and adviser, especially in the matter of the alluringly amoral Phoebe Phelps--an obsession Amis must somehow put behind him if he is ever to find love, marriage, a plausible run at happiness. Other significant figures competing as Amis's main influencers are his father, Kingsley; his hero Saul Bellow; the weirdly self-finessing poet Philip Larkin; and significant literary women from Iris Murdoch to Elizabeth Jane Howard. Moving among these greats to set his own path, Amis's quest is a tender, witty exploration of the hardest questions: how to live, how to grieve, and how to die. In search of his answers, he surveys the horrors of the twentieth century, and the still-unfolding impact of the 9/11 attacks on the twenty-first--and considers what all of this has taught him about how to be a writer. The result is a love letter to life--and to the people in his life--that achieves a new level of confidentiality with his readers, giving us the previously unseen portrait of his extraordinary world.
About the Author
MARTIN AMIS is the author of fourteen previous novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories, and seven nonfiction books. He lives in Brooklyn.
“It feels as if Amis has found his mature voice, one that is warm, generous and deeply moving, whether on the subject of fatherhood, love or friendship (particularly with Christopher Hitchens). This is not only the best book Amis has written in years; it is up there with Money and London Fields as the finest work he’s produced.” —Alex Preston, The Observer
“Brilliant . . . Abounds with entertaining anecdotes . . . [Amis] explores the rich terrain of how matters of the heart (and loins) inform art . . . Stylistically,Inside Story is most reminiscent of Dylan’s Chronicles, a master artist following his muse to create a genre-defying and career-defining work.” —Bill Kelly, Booklist (starred review)
“Deeply engaging . . . Resembles Sebald’s influential genre-straddlers with the inclusion of photos . . . The book is almost everywhere wonderfully readable, rich in the familiar Amis pleasures of wit, insight, and well-formed anecdotes . . . An intriguing, often brilliant addition to a storied career.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Consistently intelligent and compulsively readable . . . Amis again proves himself to be as savvy a thinker as he is a writer as he applies his insight and curiosity as a novelist to this stylish and genuine account of his development as a writer. The result reaches the heights of his finest work.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“One of the best qualities of the book is its regard for the reader . . . Inside Story contains wonderful considerations of what it is to be a writer, the importance of reading while writing, and writing while reading. It offers, in a way, what Amis’s parents gave him: an insight into the lives of writers . . . His love for literature is earnestly shared [and] a lifetime of scholarship is reflected in the quality of the writing.” —Sinead O’Shea, The Millions