Martin Amis's life could itself provide the formula for an enthralling work of fiction.
Son of one of the most popular and best-loved novelists of the post-War era, he has forged a groundbreaking manner of writing that owes nothing to the style of his father, nor indeed to anyone else.
He relished and recorded the bizarre, turbulent atmosphere of Britain and the US during the 1970s and 80s, arguably the transformative period of the late 20th century.
No other contemporary writer has proved so magnetic for the popular press: he has, despite himself, achieved celebrity status.
Of late, his reputation as a novelist has been matched by his outspoken, challenging writing on contemporary global politics, and he has earned the status as the Orwell of the early 21st century.
Martin Amis offers the real Martin Amis, a cabinet of contrasts: tortured, eloquently aloof, kind, obsessive, loved by women, a dedicated family man, often the architect of his own undoing, and a literary genius.
Moreover, this fascinating biography discloses the autobiographical thread that runs through Amis's books. Richard Bradford has talked with Amis at length, questioned him on his childhood, his private history, his opinions and the inspiration for his fiction, and these exchanges are supplemented by interviews with a large number of his friends and fellow writers.
Praise for Richard Bradford's previous titles: Praise for Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis: 'Nearly all critical biographies relate the work to the life - insidiously, tendentiously, helplessly.
Richard Bradford is different: he does it convincingly, and with vigour.
The result is an original and stimulating book'. Martin Amis 'I found Bradford's approach refreshing.
Rare among literary academics he writes clearly, doesn't show off and knows a lot about his subject.
He presents a fascinating chronicle of the development of Amis's brilliant ear for speech...He also brings out the full extent of the symbiosis between Amis and his best friend Philip Larkin: in a way Larkin invented Amis.' Craig Brown 'At his better moments Bradford...rises to Amis's stylistic level.'Humphrey Carpenter Praise for First Boredom, Then Fear: The Life of Philip Larkin: 'This book, easily the best on Larkin yet to appear, is a masterful analysis of "the weirdly fatalistic interweaving of his life and his writing"...A great biography of a great artistic genius.
Utterly magnificent.' Roger Lewis 'Bradford [is] intent on providing a corrective to Andrew Motion's Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life [and] does place welcome emphases on matters that Motion for all his comprehensiveness glided over perhaps too lightly.
In particular Bradford's portrait of Larkin's father is far more interesting and, one suspects, more fair than Motion's.' John Banville
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 448 pages, Illustrations, ports.
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 03/11/2011
- Category: Biography: literary
- ISBN: 9781849017015