Lionel Asbo

Dear Jennaveieve,
I’m having an affair with an older woman.

I gave Martin Amis another chance. It started out like I had judged him wrong for The Pregnant Widow, but suddenly, in the last 50 – 60 pages it became a struggle again. Point of views swam and swapped without any tether or support, plot lines were deserted. And I was back being frustrated again.

Lionel Asbo is a walking ASBO (anti-social behavior order), viewed through the eyes of his cousin. They live in the trash can, society’s drain of London, surrounded by violence, disturbed families and a big need to fit in with the desperate ways. Things change, yet stay the same when Lionel wins a huge lottery prize. Millions.

Combine this with the story teller trying to break free from his surroundings, family matters, financial matters, violence and a love for the comfort of prison and you have something boiling. Sadly, by the end of the book, boiling over.

Lionel Asbo: State of England, Martin Amis, Cape 2012

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