David's Reviews > Success

Success by Martin Amis
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Jul 14, 07

bookshelves: hideously-vile-protagonists

A horrible book about horrible people. Gaah!
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Manny Well, the people are horrible of course. Why the book?



David Well, it's been quite a while since I read it. But I think it's because he didn't manage to make me care about any of them. I think an author who populates his work with only obnoxious characters has a hard row to hoe, because he then has to make them somehow interesting enough that the reader will want to keep on reading.

I generally have a harder time with books about unsympathetic protagonists, though I understand that it is a fallacy to conflate bad people with bad writing. I really enjoy Patricia Highsmith's "Ripley" books, for instance. And Graham Greene's often morally dodgy characters.

But everyone in this book seemed uninterestingly loathsome.


Manny Hm. I found the narrator quite interesting, in his obnoxious way. Maybe it's because I'm English... he seemed like a familiar type!



message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike                                              David! There's a pretty consistent pattern in our comparator set -- a whole range of your 1-star ratings where I gave 4 (or even 5) stars (Amis, A.M. Homes, Ken Kalfus), and to a one they center on horrible, horrible people. I frankly love the loathsome, and may give them too much slack, but there's something delightful about reading about people who have none of my debilitating superego.

You must have a much purer relationship with your unconscious.


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