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Money: A Suicide Note (1984)

af Martin Amis

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3,273553,958 (3.61)134
Porn freak and jetsetter, John Self, is the shameless heir to a fast-food culture where money beats out an invitation to futile self-gratification. Out in New York, mingling with the mighty, Self is embroiled in the corruption, the brutality and the obscenity of the money conspiracy.
  1. 01
    Bad News af Edward St. Aubyn (shaunie)
    shaunie: Both have a dissolute main character going to pieces in NYC! Amis's book has much more meat on its bones, although both are very well written.
  2. 02
    Raseri af Salman Rushdie (vsnunez)
    vsnunez: Both are clever, well-written tales of modern life from a British point of view, but set largely in NYC
Indlæser...

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» Se også 134 omtaler

Engelsk (53)  Spansk (2)  Alle sprog (55)
Viser 1-5 af 55 (næste | vis alle)
John Self, the would-be movie mogul starring in Martin Amis' Money, combines the buffoonery of Ignatius J. Reilly with the social hijinks of early Pynchon, all related in a lingo reminiscent of Alex's "Nadsat" from A Clockwork Orange. Unfortunately, Self's act is not as entertaining as Reilly's, his missteps trend criminal rather than comical and his verbiage feels flat and out-of-tune. Self alternates between London, where he is struggling to maintain a relationship with his slutty, money-grubbing girlfriend, Selina Street, and New York, where he is busy bringing his first movie, Good Money, into existence under the tutelage of his producer, Fielding Goodney, while being stalked by the mysterious Frank the Phone, whose threatening phone calls recount the misdeeds Self commits whilst both sober and blackout drunk.

Maybe I'm just not cut out for satire. I found the quantities of alcohol Self consumes unbelievable without being comical, his womanizing and misogyny disturbing. Toss in some homophobic and otherwise idiotic ramblings and you've got a protagonist who doesn't elicit much sympathy as he meanders through his own life more like a juvenile than a thirty-five-year-old adult. Particularly odd is Amis' insertion of his fictional self into the novel, rewriting the movie script and in the process unintentionally rescuing Self. I suppose this ending, with a wiser Self recognizing the error of his ways, makes this a coming-of-age story—one that feels accidental rather than merited.

Despite its supposed inspiration from Amis' Hollywood experiences, another book on the All-TIME 100 list that failed to live up to its billing, and one that likely wouldn't get published in today's environment. ( )
  skavlanj | Jan 23, 2024 |
Usually I’d attempt something fairly highbrow when trying to review a book, but for once I’m not going to bother. Having just finished it twenty minutes ago and deciding that I can finally allow myself to read other reviews I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed, and I am becoming increasingly disappointed as I read on.

Black comedy is my bread and butter, and everyone seems to be going on and on about how shocking this book is, that you need a real stomach for it, that it’s really hilarious.... I just don’t see it. The book, to me at least, felt cheap - having a character in the book named after the author felt cheap (but you geniuses can spin it around and say that such artificiality is a cutesy little literary device that Amis employed to represent the artificiality of the culture he mocks - but we could go round and round forever debating the validity, and perhaps even the very existence, of such an approach), the references to endless booze and takeaway food and meaningless sex felt cheap, the assertion of a cobbled-together grand conspiracy at the very end (or, in other words, the great, all-too-sudden crescendo of that conspiracy two-thirds into the book) felt cheap.

It’s a book called Money and it felt cheap - go figure! Sure, it’s a book about excess - but why? John Self’s character is an inch deep, it’s not that he’s unlikeable, an unlikeable character is fine in my books, it’s just that he’s incredibly uninteresting. I’ll give Amis a break, he does throw out some good one liners, but excess is shoved in for excess’ sake - the cycle of excess is that it gets dull very quickly, we all know that, but why write about the excess? He wrote it in the 80’s, so he did a 1:1 representation of how vacuous that decade was, at least in popular imagination - but is that it? Does that feel radical? Is that enough?

Maybe it is for some. Perhaps it went over my head, but there’s nothing else in here for me, so it might just be the case that there was nothing to go over my head in the first place. I think I exhaled air out of my nose maybe once during the entire 400 pages, and I think that occurred when John said he finally felt like he was going to turn vicious after already trying to rape his girlfriend twice - like he was now going to do something truly unspeakable. All I’ve got to say is: his father made me laugh a lot more consistently and a lot harder, nothing compares to the end of Ending Up. Even in death, for me at least, Martin is going to struggle to crawl out of the long shadow his father managed to cast. And I hate to do that, as I’m prejudiced in giving all English authors the benefit of the doubt (we’re just better, okay). But then again maybe I’m the bastard? That’s right.... I’m probably the problem here. This book’s probably a knockout, an acquired taste - you fuckers just need to acquire some. ( )
  theoaustin | Dec 26, 2023 |
Finally got round to reading this dark and glittering rough gem of misanthropy - prompted by a desire to read it before watching the BBC adaptation.

I was a bit surprised at how chaotic the novel was. I had expected the plot and the prose to be slicker, cleaner. But I think that's purely about expectation - I'm sure that Amis was precisely in control of this novel.

To me, it feels a little dated now - obviously the setting is nearly 20 years old, but that's not the main thing (to a large extent, if you threw in a few mobile phones it could easily serve as a parable for the early 2000s). No it was more the writing - the slang that Amis invented, the pre-figuring of major plot points, the post-modern, self-referential plot and the rambling first person - that feels very familiar by now. But I suspect it feels done because it has been so imitated in the intervening years.

I do wonder what I would have made of it as a teenager, when I passed up Amis in favour of McEwan and Winterson. I suspect I may have rejected its misanthropy, and found John Self too thoroughly dislikeable to enjoy it, even as a cautionary tale. While, now, I enjoyed the book hugely, I rather think my teenage self would have had a point. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Amis's fiction drips with cynicism. John Self is a debauched anti-hero whose relationship with money is the critical conflict here - money can buy sex, booze, drugs, and access - but in the end it is as fleeting as the tide. Self's relationship with Martina seems to be as close to love as Self can muster in the emotional vacuum he lives - here is a "woman of quality", well-read, cultured, and inevitably jilted. John can't fulfill her (or himself) sexually, but her influence seems to change his focus from money and the pleasures of the flesh to the life of the mind, which requires some sobriety. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
Classic Amis with a seedy character with few redeeming features ( )
  brakketh | Aug 15, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 55 (næste | vis alle)
"the best celebrity novel I know: the stars who demand and wheedle their way across his plot seem less like caricature and more like photorealism every year."
tilføjet af GYKM | RedigerTime, David Lipsky (Jul 5, 2010)
 

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This is a suicidal note. By the time you lay it aside (and you should always read these things slowly, on the lookout for clues or give-aways), John Self will no longer exist. Or at any rate that's the idea. You never can tell, though, with suicide notes, can you? In the planetary aggregate of all life, there are many more suicide notes than there are suicides. They're like poems in that respect, suicide notes: nearly everyone tries their hand at them some time, with or without the talent. We all write them in our heads. Usually the note is the thing. You complete it, and then resume your time travel. It is the note and not the life that is cancelled out. Or the other way round. Or death. You never can tell, though, can you, with suicide notes.

To whom is the note addressed? To Martina, to Fielding, to Vera, to Alec, to Selina, to Barry - to John Self? No. It is meant for you out there, the dear, the gentle. 

M.A.
London, September 1981
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Porn freak and jetsetter, John Self, is the shameless heir to a fast-food culture where money beats out an invitation to futile self-gratification. Out in New York, mingling with the mighty, Self is embroiled in the corruption, the brutality and the obscenity of the money conspiracy.

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