Monday, January 23, 2012
Like a Bret Easton Ellis novel as written by John Kennedy Toole, Martin Amis' Money is a savage gutting of the Reagan era as seen through the eyes of a clever but myopic and narcissistic glutton. John Self may not be as fat as Ignatius J. Reilly, but his appetites are more varied and vulgar, as his primary love is money, the root of all evil that allows him to trace his way along several crass desires. As Self gets deeper and deeper into the movie production from hell, everything slowly tilts off its axis until the detestable man is almost rendered sympathetic by the orgy of self-absorption and ego-stroking that surrounds him. I've yet to read a better takedown of the movie industry and celebrity, and the moralistic comeuppance that collapses on the narrative in the final chapters is so uproarious and insane that Amis narrowly avoids preaching for the ghastly hilarity of it all. I'd previously known of Amis solely as Christopher Hitchens' best friend, but now I'm eager to delve into the next book of his I can get my hands on.