'A terrifying, painfully funny Swiftian exercise in moral disgust' Observer
Smooth-talking, sensual and self-deluded, Gregory Riding leads an existence of formidable foppishness, his days and nights a series of effortless, titillating conquests and tireless sex - sister, employers, acquaintances are but co-stars among a cast of thousands to have passed through his busy bed. Meanwhile, Gregory's foster brother, Terry, has to make do with the leavings as he trawls through life in a miasma of grief, burdened by an unmentionable past and the unlikelihood of ever having a good time in bed.
But when Success swivels her capricious gaze roles are reversed with and the Riding brothers find their lives dramatically changed.
‘An instantly recognizable voice, penetrating, loquacious, slightly hysterical, upsetting, rising above the basso pseudo-profundo babble of his competitors like filed fingernails scraping down glass‘ Sunday Times
Beautifully constructed to make a coherent, powerful and still fairly unusual statement about changing English society ― Evening Standard
An instantly recognizable voice, penetrating, loquacious, slightly hysterical, upsetting, rising above the basso pseudo-profundo babble of his competitors like filed fingernails scraping down glass - Martin Amis is a dazzling phrasemaker ― Sunday Times
Amis pulls off his literary feat with panache ― Spectator
From the Inside Flap
Beneath the surface brilliance of a story that is both moving and hilarious, lies a serious exploration
of contemporary life and morality.
Gregory Riding and Terry Service, foster brothers who loathe each other, are the central characters in Martin Amis?s pungent novel, originally published in 1978. For Gregory, London is a gilded galaxy, an endless whirl of smart parties, tony art galleries, and easy sexual conquests. Terry?s life is altogether more squalid, marred by a history of nagging sexual failures and missed opportunities. Inexplicably, success suddenly smiles on Terry as Gregory plunges to subterranean depths. But it is Gregory?s story that most engages the reader?s sympathy.
In this unusual novel, Amis provides a verbal feast for connoisseurs of fine writing; the prose is at times dazzling. But beneath the surface brilliance lies a serious exploration of contemporary life and morals.
About the Author
Martin Amis is the author of fourteen novels, two collections of stories and eight works of non-fiction. His novel Time’s Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for which his subsequent novel Yellow Dog was also longlisted, and his memoir Experience won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2008, The Times named him one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945. He lives in New York.