R.'s Reviews > Lionel Asbo: State of England

Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis
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's review
Aug 23, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012
Read in August, 2012

Seemed more Wodehouse than Dickens*, with anti-hero Lionel Asbo wandering about the pages as the anti-Wooster, Desmond Pepperdine as a photo-negative Jeeves, and alternate reality country estate Wormwood Scrubs a sort of counter-intuitive Blandings Castle.

* "...Dickensian..." - Jess Walter, Publisher's Weekly
"...Dickensian..." - Troy Patterson, Bookforum
"Dickens...Dickens..." - Kathryn Harris, New York Times Book Review
"...a 21st Century Dickens..." - Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness
"...genuinely Dickensian." - David Sexton, Evening Standard
"...hilariously Dickensian..." - Donna Seaman, Booklist
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Quotes R. Liked

Martin Amis
“Who let the dogs in? ...This, we fear, is going to be the question. Who let the dogs in? Who let the dogs in? Who? Who?”
Martin Amis, Lionel Asbo: State of England


Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann Oh my goodness. These clowns call anything with humorously named characters in it Dickensian. Or sometimes anything just with characters in it, especially if they are British. Dickens inherited a tradition of funny character names from Fielding and Smollett and all those guys. Nobody ever calls anything Fieldingesque or Smollettesque.


message 2: by R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R. Smolletesque :)

Yeah, the blurbage has been garbage: the Dickens echo surrounding this novel will only do Amis a disservice as people discover that, no, LA:SOE doesn't take on the Big Social Themes of the Day, doesn't point out the Social Ills Afflicting Society.

And nobody has an A Christmas Carol-ian change of heart: the good people stay good, the bad people stay bad and the dogs...well, the dogs do get worse.


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