Einstein's Monsters, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


An ex-circus strongman, veteran of Warsaw, 1939, and Notting Hill rough-justice artist, meets his own personal holocaust and 'Einsteinian' destiny; maximum boredom and minimum love-making are advised in a 2020 epidemic; a virulent new strain of schizophrenia overwhelms the young son of a 'father of the nuclear age'; evolution takes a rebarbative turn in a Kafkaesque love story; and the history of the earth is frankly discussed by one who has witnessed it all.

The stories in this collection form a unity and reveal a deep preoccupation: '"Einstein's Monsters" refers to nuclear weapons but also to ourselves,' writes Amis in his enlightening introductory essay, 'We are Einstein's monsters: not fully human, not for now.'




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Martin Amis has written a collection of five stories about lving with the threat of, or after, a nuclear war. In two of the stories, the existence of nuclear weapons is a backdrop for the anxieties and behaviour of characters. These were my favourites, with a strength of language and imagery that literally made me pause and reflect mid-paragraph at times.The other three stories could more easily fit the science-fiction genre since they take place after nuclear war has destroyed the world as we know it. Even in these, Mr. Amis's focus is on people: these aren't stories about war and technology, but about what they do to humanity.

Review by

A collection of post-nuclear stories. The writing is radioactive. My most favorite story here is "The Little Puppy That Could" (a masterful welding of horror story and fairy tale), followed by "The Immortals" (comic and inventive).

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