Heavy Water And Other Stories

Martin Amionnathan Cape £14.99) * at


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Martin Amis - with his verve, his slang, his dialogue twang, his bustling cities and hustling citizens - is the closest we have to a Great American Writer, to a Bellow or a Delillo. Unlike so many of his British peers and those who write in his long shadow, Amis sings the body electric without getting bogged down in the anaemic concerns, the milky tea of humankind that constitutes much contemporary English writing. How fitting then that, just as we hear that Amis is considering upping sticks and crossing the Atlantic, we are presented with a collection of short stories, a number of which originally appeared in US magazines.

Fans of the Amis of Money and London Fields will be delighted with 'T he State Of England' and ’The Coincidence Of The Arts' in which various John Self and Guy Clinch figures duck and dive, fuck and skive as the author spins his sentences and files his style to something approaching perfection.

Elsewhere, things aren't so great. Too often in the supposed satires of Heavy Water, Amis comes off looking smug rather than smart, toothless rather than savage. It's about time he moved to America, stopped wasting his energy on literary one-liners and produced another great novel. This collection is just treading water. (Peter Ross)

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Perhaps this is because Morrison is such public property. Certainly l/lanzarek is happy to fuel the Lizard King legend With his use of classical Greek imagery, Elsewhere he is intent on refuting Oliver Stone's biopic version of events .vith more bile than is strictly necessary. Ray, everyone hated the film Relax, man

Despite this underlying agenda, l/lanzarek is capable of some evocative .‘xriti'tg ‘.‘.’ll|Cl‘. takes you straight back to your dusty copy of LA Woman lFSi


Susanna Beaumont, Ellie Carr, Thom Dibdin, Graham Dickson, Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Kirst Knaggs, Peter Ross


t t * Outstanding i it Recommended it Worth a try So-so Poor

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