Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Martin Amis, Night Train

Martin Amis, Night Train. Well. I feel like I was bludgeoned in the back of the head, finishing that - one of those nasty, brutish and short novels. A stylized hard-boiled police narrative sort of book, but written by a British literary AUTHOR consciously trying to get the essence of the form down. The narrator was a tough ex-alcoholic female detective writing in Ed McBain dialect: there was a little too much Latin sprinkled around to be quite convincing, but he definitely got the world-weary cynicism down. The ending was purposefully unsatisfying and discouraging. I felt a little bewildered through the book, because I think I had Martin Amis mixed up with his father, Kingsley Amis (oops - he's the guy who wrote Lucky Jim), and was expecting a different kind of book, funny at least, which is why I wasn't ready for all the blood and cigarettes. But the man can write; he can't turn it off even when he tries.

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