“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.”


Just finished Inside Story by Martin Amis. A memoir published as a novel
This book is really a memoir of the life of Martin Amis, and centers mostly around four people besides the author. His father Kingsley Amis, Saul Bellow, Christopher Hitchens and a girlfriend from long ago named Phoebe Phelps.
The most interesting parts of the book concern his very close relationships with Bellow and Hitchens.

Nobel prize winner Saul Bellow was a mentor to the author, and there friendship was indeed a long one, ending only upon Bellows death from Dimentia. Bellows mental descent because of his disease is described here in detail. Bellow was much older than the author and probably played the part of a father figure to him.

Hitchens was a drinking buddy and a great thinker and the author and he shared many an adventure. Again, when Hitchens is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his fall to his health is gone into detail It is very obvious the profound affect both of these man had on the authors life.

His father Kingsley left the family for another woman while the author was young leaving a void in the authors life. The most interesting character is Phoebe. Her relationship with the author took place mainly in the 1970’s but she would pop in and out of his life for many years after. She seemed to have a strange hold on Martins life and her syries about their relations told here are unforgettable.

The book is long at just over 500 pages and obviously would not be everyone’s cup of tea. I can recommend the book to fans of the authors mentioned above but others might not get much enjoyment out of this book.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 19th March 2021

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Richard Franco