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Other People: A Mystery Story

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,148 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Other People: a Mystery Story Other People is ambitious and accomplished, heralding for Amis an unexpected new direction as a novelist and for the rest of us an experience not to be missed.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 28th 1982 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,914)
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Anthony Vacca
Aug 18, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: MJ Nicholls
Recommended to Anthony by: MJ Nicholls
With Other People: A Mystery Story me best mate Martin makes his first adventurous plunge into the depths of metafiction, whereas there were only tentative toeings of those murky but still self-reflective waters in previous works such as The Rachel Papers and Dead Babies. In fact, we have several of the Martin Amis hallmarks on display here: a preoccupation with low-end criminals, femme fatales with preternatural skills at seduction, and a narrative that contains all the trappings of Brian De Pa ...more
MJ Nicholls
When Moby released Animal Rights in 1996, people didn’t know where to look. The mild-mannered pioneer of electronica and ambient instrumentals was screaming his lungs out over too many overdubbed guitar solos in a sincere attempt to emulate his mate Billy Corgan. People cringed listening to the record. Imagine how his friends and family reacted. “Do you like my new album?” And a mass shuffling of feet occurred. Martin Amis faces this experience from book to book. This isn’t a recent phenomenon. ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Other People isn't a tale of Visitation. The just sleep of the Elect isn't to be shattered by ghostly moralizing. The world of our entitlement is instead simply upended, allowing the dark bits to pour to the fore. London is revealed through a Ballardian lens. Colors and smells are enhanced, but thinking is pruned, reduced to Money, Sex Death.

The title refers to Hell. We harbor such within. It is nursed at our breast. Martin Amis is astonishing.
Apr 26, 2012 schmiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, in my opinion, Martin Amis's most underrated work. Published long before his more celebrated masterpieces, it is the product of a writer who is experimenting with his power but fully comfortable in his own voice. The protagonist "Mary Lamb" has no idea who she is -- has no idea who or what anything is -- and like almost all of Amis's characters, lives in a world of dualities and counterparts. Except, as we soon learn, her counterpart is the phantom of her past self; and by the time Mary ...more
Other People by Martin Amis is an unsolvable mystery. To fully understand everything that occurs in this novel, and the meaning implied by such events, warrants several readings. Yet, once finished with it there is a strong voice screaming in the reader's mind, "I don't ever want to go back to the world that Martin Amis portrays!" Amis writes a very gritty depiction of people and human nature. The book is split into two parts. The first is the third person novel, following the life and survival ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2008 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Oh, Martin. Really. This...this is murder. You're killing me, Marty. You're simply killing me.
How can Martin Amis do this to me? To me? How can he write such beautiful prose that keeps me home on New Years Eve? You know, this book is really the most honest book I've ever read about those people. You know who. Other people. That's right. That's exactly right.
There are two typos of people, here. Us and them. Divvy up into two types of the two types. Us and them, the dailies, the averages. And u
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
dott.Lamb and mrs.Hide

Mary non si ricorda chi è, si è appena svegliata in un posto e non si ricorda nulla, nemmeno cosa sono le da un nome e subito dopo anche un cognome e affronta la vita un momento alla volta, come pare facciano gli A.A., si trova in mezzo agli ultimi della terra, solo perchè non si ricorda che esiste una scala gerarchica, si fida di una spiantata che la pesca in mezzo a un gruppo di barboni e poi la vende a uno psicopatico, finisce a casa di lei e poi incontra i s
Dec 02, 2009 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
A woman wakes up with no memory of her past and no idea who she is. Amnesia. But this is not the amnesia of soap operas; the loss of memory represented in this book goes far beyond forgetting one’s name and address. Most of the narrative is from the woman’s point of view, and because she does not know where she wakes up, we do not either. We do know that it is in a building, and her mention of gurneys and people in white coats suggests that it is a hospital of some sort. Somehow she gets out of ...more
Jul 12, 2009 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My rating for the book goes down the longer I think about it. I picked this one up at the same time as Daphne Du Maurier's "The Scapegoat" and was really surprised to find the two books, so very different in many ways, extraordinarily similiar in structure and what they offer the reader. Both rely on "finding the hidden/lost story" to create suspense and both offer the reader a set up, stock anti-hero in such a way the reader can identify with his/her glamour and sanctimoniously judge him or her ...more
Apr 04, 2016 E rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A woman suffers amnesia. He seeks to rediscover her old life. She gets used and abused by many along the way. She realizes her old life might not be worth rediscovering. But by then it might be too late. Or not. The novel is purposely, incredibly vague. Amis was experimenting, trying to be "meta," trying not to be his father. Well, he succeeded, for better or worse. I cannot recommend this novel.
Andy Irwin
My two previous experiences with Amis ('Money' and 'London Fields') were so enjoyable that I added 'Other People' to my small collection and it isn't out of place among such good company.

What I enjoyed most about 'Other People' is that manner in which it takes us through a series of events - variously bleak and funny, sometimes concurrently - through the eyes of Mary Lamb, an amnesiac, who at first struggles to conceptualise anything much at all and by the end is beginning to return to something
Jared Zehm
Mar 11, 2014 Jared Zehm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin Amis is never afraid to unexplored storytelling methods. In Other People we meet the main character as she is waking from a coma. She has amnesia and literally doesn't know who she is, where she is or even the fact that she is human. She wants to leave the hospital and doesn't realize that the things strapped to her feet hindering her movement are a pair of high heels. You have to learn along with her about the people around her, her surroundings and her history.

Because she isn't aware o
What just happened?

What did I just read?

Not that I was actually expecting a classical "mystery story", but that made no sense. It was good, but made absolutely no sense.

Here you have the story of a girl who loses her memory after suffering what you first suppose is an accident, but which turns out to be an act of violence committed against her by someone. That someone is also narrating bits of her story, as a casual observer. Her identity and his identity become the focus of the story and the un
Jul 02, 2014 Жор rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Случайно попаднах на книгата в Столична и анотацията ми допадна. Започнах с умерени очаквания и на моменти звучеше приятно, но като цяло ѝ липсваше нещо, което да я направи... ами, автентична. Идеята за жена, която се събужда с амнезия и започва да опознава света отначало, да търси коя е била преди, ми е любопитна, но за съжаление Мартин Еймис не успява да я разгърне по интересен начин. Не можах да повярвам на Мери (или Ейми), героите бяха отегчителни, недостоверни, повече пошли, отколкото нещо ...more
The book's cover promised 'a metaphysical thriller, Kafka reshot in the style of Psycho'. Yet again, I was tricked into judging a book was its ridiculously appealing cover.

I really wish I have not read this book. What started off as a unique concept, about someone who has no idea about her past and who has to discover the world as if for the first time, ended ridiculously. It is not so much the fact that it is an unsolvable mystery that irritated me, but the absurdity and confusion of it all. No
I was very confused for most of this book, but in a way that felt like I was discovering something. I still don't know what it was.
I haven't read any Amis before (father or son). Perhaps I will start with this one.
Jun 23, 2008 Dassi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin Amis is brash and blunt yet has the most amazing and raw characters!
Bé Né
Aug 19, 2015 Bé Né rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Je remercie chaleureusement les éditions le Livre de Poche ainsi que Mme Garnier, de m'avoir proposé et envoyé ce roman.

Si dans un premier temps j'ai été attirée par ce livre grâce à sa couverture magnifiquement colorée, j'ai bien sûr aussi été intriguée par le résumé qui en dit long sur ce que cette lecture nous réserve, et à la fin de celle-ci on se rend bien compte que la couverture est totalement en adéquation avec l'histoire, je pense qu'aucune autre couverture n'aurait mieux correspondu.

Russell George
Amis is a stylish writer who at times drifts into self-indulgence, but this is a compelling book. It’s the story of a girl, Mary Lamb, who has lost her memory, and after apparently coming out of a coma drifts in a dream-like state through the sordid and unhappy streets of London, her dark past apparently locked away. It’s a metaphysical tale, in that the people Mary meets are all various forms of grotesque, grossly self-consumed in contrast to her child-like trust. This means that, as a reader, ...more
Other People is a novel that goes through various stages. Mary, the central character, awakes in a white hospital type room, not knowing who she is, where she is or what has happened to her. I got an atmosphere of being in a different world and perhaps my strong liking of Sci-Fi/dystopias tried to link the two together but this was something else and quickly evaporated into the next stage. For the most part, we follow Mary as she stumbles around, meeting new people who take advantage of her and ...more
May 13, 2016 Kingfan30 rated it liked it
So a lady wakes up in what you assume is a hospital with no memory. I guess it's a story about her discovering the world and trying to find out the past. It was a fairly easy read that had me wondering what would happen next, but it tried to be too mysterious and none of the questions were answered in the end for me.
Feb 01, 2014 Pavla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nejdřív jsem myslela, že se mi to bude líbit. Postupem času jsem začla být alergická na autorovy "moudré" vsuvky (i když si dokážu vybavit knihu, kde mi to nevadilo). Bohužel jakákoliv jiná postava mi byla sympatičtější než jeptiškoidní Mary a její šlapkovské druhé já Amy. Nepochopila jsem závěr a je mi to jedno.
Sep 28, 2012 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I often find when Martin Amis's fiction.. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It is at times deeply, DEEPLY disturbing. The actions of many of the characters are really pretty abhorrant.. and I often felt like I needed a wash after putting this down. And yet I couldn't stop reading it! The mystery at the heart of this novel pulled me in and I wanted to know what had happened to this woman.. unfortunately you don't exactly get ALL the answers. It probably does need another read to pick up ...more
Diana Nicol
Jul 29, 2015 Diana Nicol rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so muddling it was impossible to follow. I speed-read it to see if there was any point, but it remained boring and hasty throughout. I've binned it to save anyone else this bad experience.
Mar 19, 2011 feimineach rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Waterworth
A strange, and strangely ambitious book. A misogynistic mystery story that doesn't quite work but is still fascinating and spooky. Wonderful writing, but what does it mean? 3.5
Ellen Yen
Oct 04, 2014 Ellen Yen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like the ways Martin Amis describe some typical people in the society in a non-typical way. Actually the end of Mary/Amy's "adventure" made me feel a bit empty - I kind of enjoyed reading about the different other people she encountered, although it's necessary that the story has to end, and we have to find out the answer to the puzzle at the beginning.
My first Amis book and my first read of 2010 was a lucky pick. The story is a twisted tale of a woman suffering from amnesia and struggling to survive in the world. The story itself and the narration was very black and darkly humorous. I felt guilty about laughing sometimes, but the misogyny was so overpronounced I couldn't help but laugh at its ridiculousness and I'm sure that was Amis' intent. I have been on a run lately of reading books that take place in London -- I've always had a soft spot ...more
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Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist and short story writer. His works include the novels Money, London Fields and The Information.

The Guardian writes that "all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis [his father] complained of as a 'terrible compulsive vividness in his style... that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be recog
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“Life is made of fear. Some people eat fear soup three times a day. Some people eat fear soup all the meals there are. I eat it sometimes. When they bring me fear soup to eat, I try not to eat it, I try to send it back. But sometimes I'm too afraid to and have to eat it anyway.” 121 likes
“When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable” 98 likes
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