Visiting Mrs. Nabokov
And Other Excursions
By Martin Amis
Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780679757931, 288pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 1995
List Price: $16.00*
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To this tantalizing nonfiction collection Martin Amis brings the same megawatt wit, wickedly acute perception, and ebullient wordplay that characterize his novels. He encompasses the full range of contemporary politics and culture (high and low) while also traveling to China for soccer with Elton John and to London's darts-crazy pubs in search of the perfect throw. Throughout, he offers razor-sharp takes on such subjects as:
American politics: "If history is a nightmare from which we are trying to awake, then the Reagan era can be seen as an eight-year blackout. Numb, pale, unhealthily dreamless: eight years of Do Not Disturb."
Chess: "Nowhere in sport, perhaps in human activity, is the gap between the tryer and the expert so astronomical.... My chances of a chess brilliancy are the 'chances' of a lab chimp and a type writer producing King Lear."
"The brainy, sarcastic, tender intelligence at the center of these pieces can make you laugh out loud: they can also move you to tears." -- People
John Updike: "His fascination with the observable world is utterly promiscuous: he will address a cathedral and a toilet seat with the same peeled-eyeball intensity."