Guardian 1000 Project: ‘Money’ by Martin Amis

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Part of Martin Amis’s “London Trilogy,” along with the novel London Fields and The Information, Money was hailed as “a sprawling, fierce, vulgar display” (The New Republic) and “exhilarating, skillful, savvy” (The Times Literary Supplement) when it made its first appearance in the mid-1980s. Amis’s shocking, funny, and on-target portraits of life in the fast lane form a bold and frightening portrait of Ronald Reagan’s America and Margaret Thatcher’s England.

             Money is the hilarious story of John Self, one of London’s top commercial directors, who is given the opportunity to make his first feature film—alternately titled Good Money and Bad Money. He is also living money, talking money, and spending money in his relentless pursuit of pleasure and success. As he attempts to navigate his hedonistic world of drinking, sex, drugs, and excessive quantities of fast food, Self is sucked into a wretched spiral of degeneracy that is increasingly difficult to surface from.

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Life got in the way of my best plans to read the Guardian’s list but I’m taking this project back.

The Guardian UK’s list of Best 1,000 Novels threw down the gauntlet and I’m smacking them right back. Think you can test me, do you? Dare to question how many of these I’ve read?

Well, Professor Moriarty, the game’s afoot.

Book No. 1 in the first category- Comic Novels – is Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, which I unfortunately cannot locate amongst my books. I’m 90% positive I have it; I just can’t find it.

Fortunately, Book No. 2, Money by Martin Amis (yes, son of Kingsley) is in my hot little hands. So I’m leap-frogging over the father to get to the son. No offense, old chap. By the time I’ve finished Money I’m sure I’ll have found your novel, even if I have to buy another copy.

What annoys me is finding this book is actually part of a trilogy. And I hate reading just one book in a series. So, do I read just this one or include the other two (London Fields and The Information) as well?

Focus. I must focus.

Martin Amis’s Money is my choice to get me back on track of the Guardian 1000 list. More on the book, and Amis, soon.

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