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The critic James Wood wrote in the Guardian: " Experience is a beautiful, and beautifully strange book, and it is unlike anything one expected. After the first fifty pages – past the infinitesimal detail about his entrance into the litosphere – I got the impression Amis had been imprisoned in this role of literary executioner since birth.

Before Experience I might compare him with a kind of ‘ mean friend’ that the child within you desperately hopes to please. that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be recognisable in any piece before he reaches his first full stop. Well, firstly, there is no book about Martin Amis which is not about lit-crit and the process of writing. the outrageous, wicked-funny, self-promoting short guy jockeying for position in the heat across Literature's Bridge of Size. As the Chevrolet Celebrity moved boldly down Route 6, I was pretty confident that the evening would go well.Martin does provide some very touching and real moments, and it is the more emotional of the two, but the flaws I’ve always found in Martin’s writing are still in evidence. Then, of course, there is the adored Saul Bellow (whose own struggles with a near-fatal illness also shook Amis in the late 1990s).

Martin's affairs with these women, however, happen offstage, or in footnotes, as far as this narrative is concerned. Four hundred pages of this 'autobiography' somehow go by without us ever learning very much about who Martin Amis is, or what he has done with the past 51 years of his life. La otra noche terminé de leer la autobiografía de Martin Amis aunque Martin Amis haya escrito su autobiografía como a los 45 años y aun este vivo. I said afterwards that this was sinister balls, and Christopher, whether or not he agreed (he was, of course, much more pro-union than I was), certainly seemed to be taken by the phrase. With Experience, readers gain some sympathy for Amis, who turns out to be a real person, and not just some character you read about in Vanity Fair.While I do not doubt the pain that toothache can bring, a more self-aware man would have realised that this simply isn't dignified.

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