London Fields
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London Fields

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  6,113 ratings  ·  436 reviews
Lo scrittore Samson Young sa in anticipo che il truffatore Keith Talent sta per commettere un omicidio, conosce la vittima e le implicazioni del criminale, eppure non farà nulla perchè il delitto non avvenga.
Hardcover, First edition, 470 pages
Published September 21st 1989 by Jonathan Cape (first published 1989)
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Jessica
What a fun fucking book. I blew off everything today (and, well, most of the week) just to read this book, because it was that fucking fun. God, I loved this book. I just read it nonstop, and when the recurring irritation that is my life did tear me away, I kept thinking about what I'd read, and just ached to go back to read it some more.... I went at this book hard, folks, and now that I'm finished, I feel like I barely can walk across the room. Maybe this qualifies as Too Much Information, but...more
mark monday
Many thanks to ⇨ this review⇦ for providing the inspiration!


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Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh! Gosh!

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Gosh.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

I haven’t read a book this good in really, *really* long time.

And we’re not talking about oh-I-ca
...more
Paul
THE BRITISH CLASS SYSTEM

At the top there is the Monarchy and the aristocracy. They're all still there, no one has gone away. The 14th Duke of Banffshire and all the scurvy crew. The only good news is - they're not allowed to hunt foxes any more ! Yay - one and a half cheers for democracy! So that's the Upper Class.

Next step down is the complicated Middle Class which is divided into three :

Upper middle : these are your professions, of course. Judges, lawyers, bankers, etc. There was a radio inter...more
Kemper
Apr 01, 2014 Kemper rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kemper by: Anthony Vacca
”This is the story of a murder. It hasn't happened yet. But it will. (It had better.) I know the murderer, I know the murderee. I know the time, I know the place. I know the motive (her motive) and I know the means. I know who will be the foil, the fool, the poor foal, also utterly destroyed. I couldn't stop them, I don't think, even if I wanted to. The girl will die. It's what she always wanted. You can't stop people, once they start. You can't stop people, once they start creating.

What a gift.
...more
Krok Zero
My first Amis. Didn't disappoint! I'm not sure it pulled off its staggering ambitions but it's very easy to enjoy, if you enjoy elaborately witty studies of human perversity and pain.

Character-driven is a term you often hear applied to fiction. It applies here more than usual, and in a different sense. The characters are stock types that Amis has elevated to the realm of literary internality without really changing their status as stock types. They're familiar to anyone familiar with crime stori...more
Maciek
First published in 1989, London Fields is now often considered to be Martin Amis's magnum opus. The New York Times described it as a "virtuoso depiction of a wild and lustful society" and a "large book of comic and satirical invention", which succeeds as a "picaresque novel rich in its effects".The Guardian was a little less positive, and called the book "a cheat. A con-trick", writing that "from start to finish, all 470 pages of it, it's an elaborate tease." But the paper couldn't brush it off...more
Manny
This book just has it all.

Um. That's not very specific. I suppose I'd better say what "it" is. Well... off the top of my head: an engaging femme fatale, an equally engaging anti-hero - Keith Talent is an asshole's asshole - a dangerous baby, psychic powers, explicit descriptions of sex and competitive darts (though not both at the same time), references to nuclear and climate-related apocalypses, witty and stylish writing. Pause for breath. I know I'm missing a bunch of things.

A plot? An endin...more
Michael Shilling
People often say Martin Amis in the brilliant guy at the party you avoid, but Amis actually can roll a great joint and cut a fine rail. Also he knows secrets about the host that you'd have never suspected. His breath is terrible, though, and he keeps trying to kiss you.
Warwick
London Fields is a book with a plot so pointless it made me angry, and a cast of blatant stereotypes. It's distinguished by some flourishes of wonderful writing, and the presence of one character who is one of my favourite creations of modern British fiction.

Initially, there is plenty to like. The narrator – a failed American writer on a house-swap in London – has an engaging line in self-doubt, a brooding sense of millennial disaster, and a neat turn of phrase. The traffic-clogged, grimy street...more
Jonathan
Sep 25, 2008 Jonathan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misanthropes
This incoherent tale oozes malignant intent and world weary cynicism. None of the main characters have any positive traits whatsoever. They are variously weak, selfish, greedy, naive, manipulative and violent. The story is punctuated by the self-conscious musings of a narrator who is both seperate from, and part of, the story. These interruptions become grating after a while and are superflous to the narrative.

Amis's representation of Keith Talent serves as a crude representation of the tabloid...more
MJ Nicholls
A highly engaging novel from the Dean of Bloated, Ponderous, Semi-Comic Cerebral Wank.

Martin's novels are renowned for their "composite" qualities, i.e. he writes three separate books and mashes them together. London Fields is a "profound" murder mystery, a scathing satire on hack writers (no surprises there), and a "state of Britain" epic all at once.

The end result is as uneven, stylistically overindulgent and frustratingly dense as you could expect from Amis. But his characters are very entert...more
R.
Congratulations, little 470-page tome. You outbid Ada in the little push-pull contest I had going on all evening. It was either you or her. You won. I hope that you don't disappoint me. You won't disappoint me.

Your author is, according to the jacket copy, "a force unto himself".

I imagine your author looks in the mirror, flashes his teeth and nods, "I am a force unto myself!" before going about his day, drawling in American to his American wife, "I think I'd really like to hit America--no, no,...more
Jonfaith
Consider me dazzled, yet the very flurry of distorting mirrors and laser images reveal more about Mr. Amis and England than about The Novel (as it were) or The End -- in whatever eschatological capacity is extended to the present day punter. The figure of Keith Talent is amazingly realized, aside from the slurs, the belches and the nudges, there is something monstrously vivid in his haunts (both senses) and struggles. He may be Martin's Bloom.

Nicola Six's machinations were as uncomfortable for t...more
Joseph
The story is about a murder that is going to happen, that book is about 450 pages (21 hours) leading up to that event. You know who is going to die, so that is not a secret. Nikki Six knows she is going to die and accepts that. She convinces one main character she is a virgin, while in reality being quite the slut. She has a fetish that she lets the narrator in on and in her own mind goes on to compare it as Cygnus X1, a binary star system in which one of the stars is now a black hole. One gives...more
Eric
May 25, 2007 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the craft
I loved this book and it is one of my top ten favorites of all time. The novel is sheer virtuousity, and what might suffer under the weight of showiness and pretense really works here because at the end of it all, it is so well written. And the book turns on you, an unexpected ending that made me read the book a second time after the first to see it with more narrative clarity--thematically, the reader and the protagonist suffer from the same limited omniscience—they are in it together; a positi...more
Megha
Martin Amis, you are such a tease!
Jean-marcel
It's a Martin Amis book. You will feel kind of defiled and filthy after reading it, but also sharper and challenged. I read this book aloud to my girl years back, and for months afterward we would both horse around and try to talk like Keith Talent. He really is one of the most memorable in a long line of Amis scumbags: Rather dangerous, but the book sort of builds him up, deflates him and makes him seem rather pathetic, though not as much so as Money's John Self, for example.

The scenario here i...more
Robin
Wow -- this was so not my thing. And it wasn't that I was offended. I was just not impressed. It had so much unrealized potential... no, that's not it. Some of the ideas, like some of the characterization and plot devices, could have developed in a more edited way in someone else's hands. But there was nothing unrealized about this book. He realized the hell out of it, and then some. That's the problem. Maybe it's that whole post-modern-you-get-to-know-everything-and-then-some kind of thing, but...more
Stephen
A hyperbolic sledgehammer of a book, vicious and vitriolic. It is a wonderfully inventive post-modern crime story, with a broad and vivid cast of London life, that sadly rings a little too true. I'm not a big Amis fan, but I loved London Fields.

While written in the late 80s, it still feels highly relevant today. Perhaps it would have seemed less so in the middle of Blair's premiership, but the new age of austerity suits book just fine. The dread of imminent apocalypse (a touch of JG Ballard the...more
DRM
This book and I have quite a history. I'm a big fan of ex-Ministry member Chris Connelly's solo work and he mentions this book in two of his songs ("London Fields" and "Nicola 6") which perked my interest in Amis. I started reading this in June of 2006 and gave up as I had no idea where it was going. I LOVED the atmosphere of it but it felt sort of like the book equivalent of a British Wong Kar-Wai making an 8 hour movie about London low lifes. But I couldn't get it out of my mind and came back...more
Rob
I like some of Amis's book and he knows how to write a dazzling sentence, but this is a book full of mean spirited characters and a snobbishness towards the working class that predates the "chav" phenomenon by almost twenty years. Keith Talent, lauded in some quarters as a brilliantly drawn depiction of a oafish bully, is infact one of the most one dimensional and cliched characters I have come across in modern literature. Read "Money" instead.
Garry
In short, this book is a tease from start to finish. But beneath that one-word overview is a craftsman removing any simple use of language or cliche to produce and polish skillful literary, linguistic gold. A true wordsmith. It's difficult not to be in awe as Amis convolutively mixes ideas, impressions & deliciously acquired words to convey tone and scene (mainly at the expense of his characters who are crudely oulined as mere caricatures). The irony is that he fashions his art within the do...more
William Thomas
Martin Amis suffers from the same syndrome as his father. Kingsley Amis Syndrome. Also known as Ken Kesey Syndrome but not to be confused with Harper Lee Syndrome. A stellar first novel ala the Rachel Papers and then a steep decline into a babbling imbecile who more or less writes as a way to mentally masturbate and force you, the reader, to watch.

This book was little more than a bumbling, mumbling jumble of words. And not very many words, at that. Because within the first twenty pages he uses...more
Kate
I've known prisoners, children, and countless other delinquents. But sorry, I don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt as often as this author needs it. London Fields is a tiresome snarled mess, a Grade A deviant that deserves the literary equivalent of solitary confinement. It's as if Martin Amis was too busy to curb his own cleverness and impulsive meanderings.

Here's the shtick: It's per-apocalypse London and femme fatale Nicola knows she's going to be murdered... but will it be by straight...more
John
Jun 15, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone intelligent
Amis almost defines what is good about post-modernism in literature for me. Here he examines London in the late 20th century, touching upon themes like class, sex, money and Anglo-American cultural differences. Memorable to me are the descriptions of Marmaduke (the baby from hell) and Keith Talent (the yobbish darts player). As in all Amis's work, the language never disappoints; he is a worthy successor to Nabokov in this regard. A dark and sometimes highly cynical book, this is not for everyone...more
Geoff
Jan 07, 2010 Geoff marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The day I started reading this my back door got kicked in, my house was ransacked and many things stolen, and after a couple of days (that was Monday this is Thursday) I tried to get back into the frame of mind where I could enjoy a work of art; unfortunately I now don't feel much like reading about the exploits of criminals, despite how brilliant the prose. So I'm setting this aside for something more immediately... escapist.
Julie
This is not your typical murder mystery. From the beginning of the book, you know that Nicola Six will be the victim (aka murderee) and someone from a very limited cast of characters is going to commit the crime. You also know the date of the crime, but what makes this book so different is that it is all going to happen in the future and each page races you toward the conclusion. But more than a mystery, it's a commentary on the social system in Great Britain - a conflict between the wealthy, we...more
ΑνναΦ
Scrambled eggs

E' così che se ne esce, un po' frullati, strapazzati, del resto qui si parla di Estinzione, di molteplici estinzioni, e di una Seduzione. Sarcastico, cinico, disilluso, caotico. Che cos'è un mistery, un noir, un divertissement, una commedia nera? Di certo il nostro è un romanzo postmoderno, cioè destrutturato; tutto ciò che è moderno è destrutturato, no? Dalle relazioni interpersonali, alle giacche di Armani, ai romanzi di Calvino, passando per le poltrone pouf di Fantozzi. La stor...more
Drew
What a let-down. After Money, London Fields comes off as bloated and pretentious. Not that Money was restrained, or polished, or anything like that, but it was good. With London Fields, Amis seems to be trying to play some obnoxious pomo trick, like "I'm going to tell you the ending right at the beginning! How fucking clever! But there will still be some meaningless uncertainty," that doesn't come off in the slightest. But how could it?

It doesn't help that his characters this time around fail t...more
Cindy
Remember that Simpsons episode where it starts with Marge cutting off Homer's finger and ends with an explosion and Linguo the talking grammar-correcting robot comes flying through the air, landing in a field? You know the one! It's a riff on Run, Lola, Run, with Lisa trying desperately to get Linguo to the school science fair? Well, you can watch it here if you forgot: Trilogy of Error. At any rate, the thing that struck me about that episode was that it was told in 3 parts, once from each char...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...more
More about Martin Amis...
Money Time's Arrow The Rachel Papers The Information Dead Babies

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“And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.” 143 likes
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