When 'dream husband' Xan Meo is vengefully assaulted in the garden of a London pub, he suffers head-injury, and personality-change.
Like a spiritual convert, the familial paragon becomes an anti-husband, an anti-father.
He submits to an alien moral system - one among many to be found in these pages.
We are introduced to the inverted worlds of the 'yellow' journalist, Clint Smoker; the high priest of hardmen, Joseph Andrews; the porno tycoon, Cora Susan; and Royce Traynor, the corpse in the hold of the stricken airliner, apparently determined, even in death, to bring down the plane that carries his spouse.
Meanwhile, we explore the entanglements of Henry England: his incapacitated wife, Pamela; his Chinese mistress, He Zizhen; his fifteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, the victim of a filmed 'intrusion' which rivets the world - because she is the future Queen of England, and her father, Henry IX, is its King.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/05/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099267591
- EPUB from £4.99
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Review by dylanwolf
It's a dog and it's yellow. Unless you have the alternate cover in which case it's a dog and it's black. This feels like a patchwork of ideas and jottings that Amis has once discarded that is now gathered up and patched together around the idea of a personality change and grotesque royal family. Some to die for sentences as you would expect from Amis but not the overall cohesion that makes a book into a novel.