State of England
A new reissue series of Martin Amis's novels to mark his 70th birthday
Lionel Asbo has just won £139,999,999.50 on the Lottery.
A horribly violent, but horribly unsuccessful criminal, Lionel’s attentions up to now have all been on his nephew, Desmond Pepperdine. He showers him with fatherly advice (‘carry a knife’) and introduces Des to the joys of internet porn. Meanwhile, Des desires nothing more than books, a girl to love and to steer clear Uncle Li’s psychotic pitbulls, Joe and Jeff.
But Lionel’s winnings are not necessarily all good news. For Des has a secret, and its discovery could unleash his uncle’s implacable vengeance.
‘One of Amis's funniest novels’ New Yorker
‘A book that looks at us, laughs at us, looks at us harder, closer, and laughs at us harder and still more savagely’ Observer
Praise for Lionel Asbo
Terrific... Both funny and serious, and (as always wth Amis) very very on-the-money'Richard Ford
This is classic AmisSunday Herald
The novel is something of a joy...he makes the dreadful funny, the grotesque poeticThe Times
It's a Big Mac made from filet mignon… It is a book of lovehate. It is a powershake... A book that looks at us, laughs at us, looks at us harder, closer, and laughs at us harder and still more savagely. It is every inch the novel that we all deserve.Observer
The broadest comedy he has ever published… Lionel is a fantastic brute… I laughed a lot. Amis’s delight in the incorrigible is genuinely Dickensian… This is a verbally inventive comedy…to be enjoyed in the same spirit as Little Britain… It’s a hootEvening Standard
I read the book in a sitting, chortling throughout…with its swaggering prose and undertow of quiet pathos, this book marks a return to something not far short of Amis’s bestMail on Sunday
He remains one of the most interesting authors we have, not least for continually engaging with those areas in the life of a nation which journalists and politicians tip-toe aroundIndependent on Sunday
It had me roaring with laughterIndependent
Being an Amis novel it’s not without the odd good joke, and he is, of course, incapable of writing and inelegant line. It’s almost as if he alone can sense both the golden ratio of a sentence, and its perfect rhythm: it’s like he’s Michelangelo and Keith MoonSunday Telegraph
Full of hilarious set-pieces, wisecracks and wordplay.Daily Express