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Martin Amis : The Biography by Richard Bradford

Martin Amis : The Biography

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   
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Sue Baker's view...

Writing the biography of a subject still living is fraught with difficulty. The life has not yet run its course – we can’t see the whole picture and many people may find it hard to say what they really think. With this in mind Richard Bradford has done a good job on providing an overview of Martin Amis, famous as a son and famous in his own right, particularly useful for readers wanting background and context to the novels and, as all good biographies should do it spurs the reader back to the subject’s work with a new, fresh eye on the writing.

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The War against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000, Martin Amis
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Who is Sue Baker


Martin Amis : The Biography by Richard Bradford

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' 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' stylistic level.' Humphrey Carpenter

About the Author

Born in Derbyshire in 1957, Richard Bradford was educated at the University of Wales and at Oxford. He has held academic posts in Oxford, Wales and Trinity College, Dublin. He is currently and Research Professor in English at the University of Ulster. He has published twenty books, including Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis (2001), First Boredom, Then Fear: The Life of Philip Larkin (2005) and The Life of A Long Distance Writer: The Authorised Biography of Alan Sillitoe.

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Book Info

Publication date

21st June 2012


Richard Bradford

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Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson


464 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Biography: literary



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