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London Fields

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  10,635 ratings  ·  741 reviews
London Fields is Amis's murder story for the end of the millennium. The murderee is Nicola Six, a "black hole" of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts. Or is the killer the rich, honorable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch?
Paperback, 526 pages
Published February 2003 by Vintage (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Glenn Russell
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Samson Young, first-person narrator of this Martin Amis novel, is a somewhat jaded, frequently sarcastic and acerbic 40-something intellectual literary writer from, not surprisingly, New York City. But his hard-edged Big Apple voice is absolutely pitch-perfect for the story he is telling, a story involving a host of memorable and very human characters, not to mention a couple of super-human characters: an Incredible Hulk-like toddler and one doozy of a MAN MAGNET, and, yes, indeed, that’s spelle
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

I did it.

I finished London Fields, after a week or so on a roller coaster, up and down, loving it, hating it, being annoyed, bored, laughing out loud, bored again. In the end, I actually caught myself crying as well, which was the last thing I expected, having worked up a genuine distaste for the book somewhere in the middle.

I don't think I have ever read a book that I could easily give either one star or five stars, and feel perfectly justified to do so. I rarely change my mind so completel
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
A mumbo-jumbo of words trying desperately to congeal into a plot. And failing at it, miserably. A case of when the book is way worse than the bad film. I have a feeling that some promiscuos dictionary had a love affair with the Holy Bible and a bunch of pop-sci lit and quite a bit of erotica and this is their collective offspring. It should come with a warning: Careful! Words hijacked this book!

The style is ridiculous. Pompous and sleep-inducing. An example of what I mean by this: there is a pie
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
Back before Goodreads and the interwebz, most discussions of pop culture, for me, usually took place in bars. After work. Late. Half-sober. Some sample conversational starters/topics:

What was Marlon Brando’s best performance? Does it involve butter?

Why does Pon Farr take seven years? Does this mean the Vulcan’s don’t have porn?

Who was the greatest left handed pitcher of the seventies?

What do you mean there’s another version of Blade Runner?

How drunk is “Tom Waits drunk”?

Why can’t we meet women?
Paul Bryant
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels, abandoned

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

And we’re not talking about o
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, london
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
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Male and Female Readings

For a male reader, “London Fields" is, like "Lolita", a Nabokovian exercise in guilty pleasure.

Which, of course, begs the question of what it represents for a female reader, assuming there is a difference in the response of male and female readers (i.e., assuming that men and women read fiction [or at least this fiction] differently).

We (male readers?) can get something of an answer from the experience of “London Fields” at the 1989 Booker Awards:

“Maggie Gee an
Krok Zero
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spring-2011
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
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
MJ Nicholls
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
Quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. It may have had its moment but that moment was ages ago and now it is just an overlong dully but pretentiously written sexist piece of trash. Life is too short.
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
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,
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
'It's funny, isn't it', she said, 'that there's nothing more boring, in any kind of narrative, than someone vacillating over something you know they're going to do. I keep noticing it in the trash I watch and read. Will the spy come out of retirement for one last mission. Will the gangster heed his wife's warnings or go for the clinching bank job. It's a nightmare sitting through that stuff. It's dead, dead.'

London Fields is not dead. Unpredictable, it doesn't torture the reader with preamble an
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, fiction, uk, 20-ce
Read 3 times.
Jason Pettus
Martin Amis was recently in the news again, for a reason I now can't remember, and it made me think about how I knew absolutely nothing about this famed British author, despite him having popped up on the literary radar regularly for the last forty years. And so when I was at my neighborhood library the other day, and learned that none of my reserves had yet arrived, I used that as an opportunity to check out what is arguably Amis' most famous book, 1989's London Fields. Unfortunately, though, I ...more
William Thomas
Aug 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
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
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Martin, Martin, Martin. I remember this from reading Money: you overstay your welcome, Martin.

I was right there with you for 300, 350 pages, really, even the weird sex stuff the femme fatale fantasy which strikes me as a bit more of the inside of your head than I want to see, the whole nine yards. I was good, I was prepared to cut you every kind of slack -- the cute author who's also our narrator thing, some pretty disgusting characters, the excess of Marmaduke, the coyness about the world situa
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Author has a great knowledge of vocabulary. Some characters are a bit too slimy for me to want to spend 470( sometimes dense) pages with. Ex: Keith Talent steals from gullible old women, ingnores/ cheats on his wife with one of his numerous girlfriends(one of which is a 16 year old prostitute: managed by her mother), gets drunk all the day long. Amis has his moments of insight and there are some moving and excitable passages but just as often he overplays his hand with excessively flowery and se ...more
May 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin Amis, you are such a tease!
London Fields. Make no mistake about the title. There is nothing rustic about this novel. It is a story of murder, in a depressing London, not in itself - Portobello Road and its colourful facades, Notting Hill, but through the prism of the style of the author, qualified as master of the "unpleasant new".
Let's start, as Martin Amis decreed, with the potential assassin, the ill-named Keith Talent, give me the expression: small, sweeping strike, of the rogue genre, not enough shoulder for ultra-vi
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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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 reco

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