What an amnesiac young woman discovers about her violently erased past is only one of the riddles in this eerie, blackly funny, and sometimes disorienting novel by the author of London Fields. Amis offers a revealing look at how someone with no memory constructs a self in a dangerous world.What an amnesiac young woman discovers about her violently erased past is only one of the riddles in this eerie, blackly funny, and sometimes disorienting novel by the author of London Fields. Amis offers a revealing look at how someone with no memory constructs a self in a dangerous world.Read Less
[0-670-52948-6] 1981, 1st Edition. () Fine in fine dust jacket. 223pp. Octavo. Three quarter red cloth with tan paper boards. Gilt lettering on spine. Previous owner's name in ink on front endpaper. Remnants of price sticker on front of dust jacket. A woman regains consciousness in a London hospital with total amnesia. She's forgotten the most simple of tasks on top of her own identity, and as she wanders through London she gradually begins to learn of the person she once was.
Dust Jacket Illustratation By Carol Wald. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket in Fine jacket. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. Signed by Author First edition. 228pp. Red quarter-cloth, tan paper boards, gilt spine lettering, tan endpapers. Dust jacket price 12.95. SIGNED BY AUTHOR to half-title page. Book and dust jacket appear in fine, unread condition. No remainder markings. " Martin Amis (born August 25, 1949) is a British novelist. His best known novels include 'Money' (1984) and 'London Fields' (1989) and 'Time's Arrow' (1991). Influenced by Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as by his father Sir Kingsley Amis, Amis's distinctive style has itself influenced a generation of writers, including Will Self and Zadie Smith. The Guardian writes that "all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis complained of as a 'terrible compulsive vividness in his style...that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be recognisable in any piece before he reaches his first full stop." Amis's raw material is what he sees as the absurdity of the postmodern condition and the excesses of late-capitalist Western society with its grotesque caricatures."-wikipedia. " This is one of Martin Amis's earlier novels, written during the phase where he seemed to be aiming to emulate the early career of Nabokov in producing short, stylish novels that play with the conventional rules of reality and narrative structure. 'Other People' can seem perplexing, but I think it is essentially an interesting angle on the social phenomenon of downward mobility-well off people going off the rails and plunging into messy troubles-which was a prominent one in 1970s London. The heroine, Mary Lamb goes through an amnesiac process. She finds it difficult to remember nouns, common terms, the names of familiar objects. The whole world is a riddle for her. Thus a newspaper is a 'dirty sheath of smudged grey paper that came and went every day'. She wanders innocently through shabby London society, commented on by a mysterious narrator, leaving a trail of destruction wherever she goes. Through a mysterious policeman, Prince, she learns about Amy Hide, a girl who has disappeared. Amy appears to be Mary's doppelganger, another Nabokovian technique Amis has raided in this novel. Eventually, this strange netherworld comes into focus and it is revealed what has happened to Mary during her life. 'Other People' may seem odd, but I think it is one of Amis's most stylish and heartfelt fictions. The character of Mary Hide is endearing in a way that Amis's characters rarely are. Amis himself has suggested that 'Other People' can be read as a sort of sequel to his later novel 'London Fields'. Readers of 'London Fields' who know how that book ends will have a useful lead into this one."-Sirin.
Very Good + in J Very Good jacket. 8vo-over 73/4"-93/4" tall 223,  pages. Author's fourth novel, concerning a young Englishwoman recovering her memory of both past and succeeding events (including her supposed murder). Signed by Amis in black ink on title page. (minimal shelfwear to jacket extremities). Signed: I Signed by Author.
FINE IN NEAR FINE DUST JACKET. SIGNED BY AUTHOR ON THE TITLE PAGE. BOOK IS FINE WITHOUT ANY MARKS TO THE BINDING OR THE TEXT. D.J. IS ABOUT FINE WITH SHORT FAINT CREASES TO THE FLAPS, AND IS NOT PRICE-CLIPPED. AN EXCELLENT CLEAN, BRIGHT, UNFADED COPY WITH NO REMAINDER MARK.
What a bizarre little book this is. Among many things, it seems Amis' answer to Frankenstein. Without Victor Frankenstein, or perhaps with Victor Frankenstein, or with a pair of, or several, Victor Frankensteins who are perhaps one Victor Frankenstein after all, or with a Dr Jekyll and a Mr Hyde disguised as Victor Frankensteins. Who knows? It is subtitled "A Mystery Story," and mystery is the aftertaste you're left with. And it's a story. And Amis defines stories in Other People as "only lies, imagined for money, time sold."
Lies, money and time are quite big in this novel, particularly the last. Amis had perhaps been on a bit of a Borges bender (he did grow up in the '60s). He does odd things with Borges, generally speaking. A short story in Einstein's Monsters is described as having a Borgesian influence and yet reads as if it's been written by Vonnegut. And I'm not complaining. This is all pure Amis.
A pleasant surprise in Other People is Amis' prodigious capacity for creepiness. Some of the passages here drip with a sharp, poisonous, translucent evil that could put half a dozen Stephen Kings out of business.
These passages, and many others, are a pure pleasure to read. Amis is probing, mad, and generously funny (until you're altogether too creeped out to laugh out loud). There are flaws, of course, and the five-star rating signifies excellence rather than perfection. It sometimes feels as if Amis is trying to cram too much into a very delicate container. To his credit, however, the integrity of the work survives the tangential musings.
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