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Money: A Suicide Note

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  12,818 ratings  ·  670 reviews
Absolutely one of the funniest, smartest, meanest books I know. John Self, the Rabelaisian narrator of the novel, is an advertising man and director of TV commercials who lurches through London and Manhattan, eating, drinking, drugging and smoking too much, buying too much sex, and caring for little else besides getting the big movie deal that will make him lots of money. ...more
Paperback, 363 pages
Published March 4th 1986 by Penguin Books (first published January 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Rakhi Dalal

Yes, you are right. Money is about ‘Money’. But not the everyday money one needs to go on with the daily business of living. It is ‘The Money’. The sort people go bonkers to attain to overcome their fears. To suppress the ‘thinking monster’ who is ready to rear its head at a moment’s notice, when the guards are low, those fleeting moments when lust or power hang on to relax, freeing the mind from their rein temporarily. But that freedom is ephemeral, for there is no escape from Money.

John Self
MJ Nicholls
Note: Written in 2007, when my prose style was at an all-time low.

I would like to begin this review with a statement: I am not a rich man. The highest amount of capital I have ever accrued amounts to approximately two thousand British pounds, and after reading Money: A Suicide Note from Martin Amis, I can also state in all conviction – that will do quite nicely for me.

I picked this book up expecting a white-hot satire on the power of money to corrupt and infect the individual, and to rot societ
UPDATE: Did I really not give this five stars? What the fuck was I thinking? I rate all other books on Goodreads in terms of as-good-as-MONEY, not-as-good-as-MONEY, and possibly-better-than-MONEY-in-some-ways-but-then-again-not-really.

I don't know what book I thought I was going to find out there, that was going to be an entire star better than Martin Amis' MONEY, but I haven't found it yet.

(If I ever do encounter such a mindbusting blockbender of a book -- I hear "Twilight" is good -- then I ma
I loathed this book, especially its reekingly horrid, brain-damagingly idiotic mess of an ending, which felt like watching a drug-addicted alcoholic trainwreck you've seen self-destructing for years finally have his royal rock-bottom meltdown into utter psychosis, destitution, and multiple organ failure.

"But Jess!" you might be yelling. "Wasn't that the point?"

Probably, almost definitely, but really, I gotta ask: was this point really one that needed to be made? I think not, yet close to a year
How about a story where the narrator is an absolute pig who spends most of the novel blind drunk as he careens from blackout to blackout while being a completely self-absorbed and oblivious asshole who survives on a diet of fast food and pornography? He’s also the kind of guy who gets in bar brawls and occasionally smacks women around. Sound like fun?

Actually, it is.

John Self is a British director of crass TV commercials who is about to make his first movie with an American producer. John ping-
Ian Klappenskoff
Thank You, Dear Gentle Reader

It's 5 pm on a Saturday in New York. The Reader walks into a bar where he works as a barman. In his bag is a copy of the novel "Money", which he has been reading on the subway on the journey to and from work. He hasn't checked the pages, but he's almost finished. Soon after setting up, he is joined by his first customer, a dishevelled, but interesting looking, character he doesn't think he's seen before. The customer is holding a folded piece of paper in his left han
This was really an essential text for me. I first read it shortly after it came out in the U.S. (1985) and it was like nothing I had ever come across before. A hydrogen-bomb of a novel. The sheer speed of the narrative, the word play, the telling detail. In short Money possessed the masterful technique that causes a narrative to jump from the page. Though "originality" we now know is something of a misnomer--every artist has his or her models and Amis has always been quite frank about his--never ...more
Anthony Vacca
A sleazy masterpiece of rhythm and voice, Money is Martin Amis at his most decadent and vitriolic. Taking no prisoners, this novel moves at a jetlagged frenzy, hopping back and forth between London and New York City as our narrator, the bloated and repulsive John Self, wheels and deals with perverse moneymen and insecure actors as he tries his damnedest to make his pet project of a movie, Good Money (or Bad Money, depending on which has more appeal with test audiences), a money-spewing success. ...more
David Lentz
Let me begin by saying that this novel is certainly well worth the money -- a masterpiece always is. I hardly know where to begin as I was so moved by this literary tour de force on fiat currency. Martin Amis is a writer's writer, a novelist's novelist, a poet's poet. The syntax is elegant, exquisite, delicious, a joy to read -- it's a book you want never to end. Amis worked hard and even fought to add value to every single word in this allegorical novel or as William H. Gass said, you will disc ...more
Lynne King
I made an unwise choice here. I was swayed by the good reviews I read and naturally assumed the book would be excellent.

I didn't like the character of John Self at all. I found him empty in "spirit", didn't go with his life style, neither was I taken with the form of the writing, as it lacked, to me, any sense of art or beauty. So the book has been despatched to the "clouds" in Kindle to enjoy eternity in the ether.

Normally the reviewers are very good and I can be persuaded to follow their way o

Not for the fainthearted or easily shocked - but if you don't fall into one of those categories, an absolutely first-rate comic novel. Impossible to forget John Self, surely one of the most unattractive anti-heroes ever.
This book took me a LONG time to read, and the despicableness of the protagonist, John Self, had a lot to do with it. I just couldn't get past how disgusting and loathsome he was, and didn't understand why anyone would want to waste their time reading about such an unlikable character. After struggling through the first half, however, the second half gripped me and I found that I couldn't put it down.
Amis is an excellent writer, using witty, refined prose to describe a fairly abhorrent lifestyl
I've read a lot of hideous men novels in 2012-- not as any planned thing...been hanging out with The Undergound Man (Notes from the Underground), Bob Slocum (Something Happened), William Frederick Kohler (The Tunnel) and a bunch of nasty folk in Kosinski's Steps. It's mid-December so it looks like John Self, the fat guy with the bad rug who narrates Money may be the hideous man to round the year out. They're all, ultimately, sympathetic (er, maybe not the voices in Steps and Kohler very rarely), ...more
I finished this book days ago, and I have to say that I am glad I read it. Many times Martin made me laugh outloud......I am having a very hard time deciding what kind of review to write for's about Money,and how Money jades you,makes you a sinner, etc. etc. etc.

I have to say then when I got to the end of this novel that I actually liked it quite a times I found it tedious,and a good friend/reviewer of mine kept asking me if I had finished it yet,and how it seemed like it w
“Money” è un romanzo vorticoso in cui Amis racconta alla perfezione cosa è stato il Ventesimo secolo. Il suo John Self è trascinato dall’alluvione dilagante di un monologo da vertigine. Senza sosta vive l’ossessione bulimica che ha caratterizzato il secolo scorso: la compulsione di assorbimento del mondo sotto tutte le sue forme, siano queste la patina pop che riveste l’aria fritta, o l’aristocratica convinzione che tutto si possa compiere. Non sono solo la sete di alcolici e la fame di schifezz ...more
Chance Maree

The experience of reading Money was sad, pathetic, funny—though I hated to laugh—shallow and stupid, then, just as I slipped into a careless ignorance and began to judge it, wrongly, glimmers emerged of rare depth and perceptiveness of certain segments of humanity, and although those segments are not interesting unto themselves, the painting of them here was slick and masterful. I was close to despising the novel, what a waste of time, paper and ink, then, powerful prose set in and I was awed. D
I’m just going to come out and say it, John Self is the best character in literature written in the twentieth century; well to me he is anyway. The voice Martin Amis gives him is one of grit, lust, and obsession, a voice that’s true, real, hilariously comical and enlightening. I want to write a full review but I have a hangover from reading “Money”, so soon! I'm noting going to write full review.
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
When he was interviewed in London on July 10, 2002 Martin Amis was asked if he has any ideal reader in mind whenever he writes. Part of his answer was:

"...I think one shouldn't pussyfoot, and just say that you write the stuff that you would like to read. So you write for yourself, no doubt about that. But I do have a sort of romantic idea of someone in their twenties, of a certain bent, and when they pick up a book by me, they think--as I have done on several occasions--'Ah, here is one for me.
This is a hard book to review. 'Money'. I'll probably have to let the whole thing soak. It was brilliant, nimble, sharp, hard, completely balls-out-nuts and pornographic (not really in the PORNporn way, but in the MONEYporn way--yeah, folks, listen to the book you won't understand till you listen to it).

If you put 'Money' together with Gaddis' JRand Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and then sprinkle it all with the vibe and intensity and amorality of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow you begin to
Jan 03, 2008 Alanna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humans
There's one line in here that is possibly the funniest sentence I've read, ever, and my thinking that sure makes me a lousy feminist, but if you've read "Money" and you have any sense of humor you know exactly of which line I speak... not as moving as "Time's Arrow" but with just as much to say about the twentieth century, this novel has helped to cement my admiration of Amis, his alleged conservatism notwithstanding. I'd like to play chess with him, even though I don't know how.

(Hi Schmoopy)
John Waller
Wow Wow Wow.

A Londoner in NYC.The cab bastard-driver in first few pages seized my mind. A story about making film.Amis said in the Preface:Money is a suicide note.

The jokes in the book really damn jokable.

The time passed when it was time to go.
This may have worked better as a novella or a short story; the book in its published form has a large skeleton but hardly enough meat to cover its bones (I was trying to think of a money-related metaphor to use here, but no — too contrived!). The protagonist and the sordid story he tells ultimately aren't interesting enough to sustain the book's length. Despite the abundance of clever, precise, or intriguingly off-kilter one-liners and descriptions (a few of them brilliant, actually), it's a nov ...more

The palimpsest technique

I laughed myself silly reading Martin Amis’s Money. On the bus on my way to work, or in the metro on my way to University, wherever I happened to start reading, I burst out laughing. It was however challenging to discover where the comedy came from: was it a genuine laughter fed by traditional techniques, so to speak, such as situation, language, names, characters? Or did it answer some subconscious expectations of mine with its fine parody not only of a world of money ex
Leo Robertson
If you're having girl problems Amis feels bad for you son,
this book is so shit I can't be bothered to rhyme Hit me!
I ended up liking this a bit more at the end than in the first 150 or so pages, but the fact is that it takes about half the book to get moving, and I was this close to giving up more than once and move on to something else. I get the point of this first half, but I think at times Martin Amis can fall too much in love with the way he writes and ends up weaving this circular pattern that is basically pointless, other than to show how well Amis writes (and while you can argue that the whole point ...more
Syzygous Zygote
This is a very smart bit of literature, and Martin Amis's prose is a pure delight to read. The narrative is indulgently postmodern and very sophisticated; the entire novel is a giant, dizzying hall of mirrors. I saw crazy funhouse reflections of the narrator in many of the main characters, which gave me a very strange feeling of having seen just one character from a million different angles at the end. Amis's own cameo is clever and another funhouse mirror, and the script being written in the bo ...more
Paul Burry
"Standing in the nordic nook of the kitchen, I can gaze down at the flimsy-limbed joggers heading south towards the Park. It's nearly as bad as New York. Some of these gasping fatsos, these too-little-too-late artists, they look as though they're running up rising ground, climbing ground. My generation, we started all this. Before, everyone was presumably content to feel like death the whole time. Now they want to feel terrific for ever. ... I peer through the spectral, polluted, nicotine-sodden ...more
A great rambling hilarious explosion of stream-of-consciousness writing from one of the more execrable protagonists I've run across, Money is surprisingly effective. Surprising because there's a novel buried in all this postmodernism, with an actual plot and actual twists, so cleverly hidden that I didn't even see it coming until it showed its hand. And it's that plot that makes me like this book much better than ancestors like Tropic of Cancer that seem to disdain anything like it.
The distance

To get drunk. To be drunk. To be a drunk.

There have been some great drunks in Literature. (How’s that for a conversation starter?) The Consul in Under the Volcano, of course. McCarthy’s Suttree. Exley, playing his drunken self in A Fan’s Notes. An obscure one is the title character in Garrison Keillor’s marvelous short story The Drunkard’s Sunday. I re-read that every few years. There is a poignancy to each of these characters, as they swallow the shame.

John Self, the drunk in Martin Amis’
В първата 1/3 от книгата богат арогантен дебелак от рекламния бизнес снове между Лондон и Ню Йорк, подготвяйки първия си филм и се опитва да задържи една жена до себе си. За разнообразие се пуска и на всяка срещната (почти без успех) и някакъв го тероризира по телефона. Непрекъснато говори за пари, яде по 7+ хамбургера, пърди, бие се, повръща, прави си чекии, оригва се, пие литри алкохол и т.н. Обаче нито може да пие като Буковски, нито да пише като него и затова не знам (въпреки някои интересни ...more
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Imperial Lofts Li...: September 2012 Book "Money" 4 6 Nov 17, 2012 10:43PM  
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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
More about Martin Amis...
Time's Arrow London Fields The Rachel Papers The Information Dead Babies

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“Oh Christ, the exhaustion of not knowing anything. It's so tiring and hard on the nerves. It really takes it out of you, not knowing anything. You're given comedy and miss all the jokes. Every hour you get weaker. Sometimes, as I sit alone in my flat in London and stare at the window, I think how dismal it is, how heavy, to watch the rain and not know why it falls.” 63 likes
“I gestured at my litre of fizzy red wine. “Want a drop of this?” I asked him.
No thanks. I try not to drink at lunchtime.”
So do I. But I never quite make it.”
I feel like shit all day if I drink at lunchtime.”
Me too. But I feel like shit all lunchtime if I don’t.”
Yes, well it all comes down to choices, doesn’t it?” he said. “It’s the same in the evenings. Do you want to feel good at night or do you want to feel good in the morning? It’s the same with life. Do you want to feel good young or do you want to feel good old? One or the other, not both.”
Isn’t it a tragedy?”
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