Context: Finished this off just after a shopping trip to Tesco’s where I got two free blocks of cheese (always complain politely!)
Recently, I read The Old Devils by this guy’s dad. I really didn’t think that it rated much. Well, Martin Amis seems to be, at least at my first reading of him, a chip off the old block.
This novel bears so many resemblances to The Old Devils that it’s laughable really. Fancy nicking ideas off your own dad!
It’s all about a writer and his insecurities about another writer. The protagonist drinks too much. He attempts to sabotage his rival’s success socially. Large parts of it are obscure. Large parts of it are boring. Many of the characters are simply padding. Being Welsh is an issue.
Wait a minute. I think I get it. Perhaps Kingsley was writing an autobiography and The Information is the biography of the autobiography.
Very very occasionally, like once every 85 pages, there’d be something that hinted that “he cracks out memorable sentences” from Melvyn Bragg’s inside front cover review, was anything less than gross hyperbole.
The storyline was the only thing that kept me in it. I was kept in (albeit weak) suspense about whether this rivalry was going to lead to anything. I won’t tell you whether it does or not… oh stuff it… let me save you the bother… it doesn’t in any satisfying way. It simply backfires horribly and leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth (you’ll get the pun if you make it to the last five pages).
So, the Amis dynasty has done nothing for me this year. I’ll be hoping for more from their other works.
If any of you have read this, have you any idea why it’s called The Information? I haven’t.
Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing.
And then there is the information, which is nothing, and comes at night.
rubbish | poor | mediocre | okay | good | very good | excellent | superb