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Inside Story: A novel (Vintage International)

Inside Story: A novel (Vintage International)

Current price: $18.00
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2022
Balin Books
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From one of the most gifted and innovative writers of our time, an autobiographical novel that’s a tender, witty exploration of the hardest questions: how to live, how to grieve, and how to die 

“[A] charismatic compound of fact and fiction...Martin Amis has retained the power to surprise.” —The New York Times

This novel had its birth in the death of Martin Amis's closest friend, the incomparable Christopher Hitchens, and it is within that profound and sprawling friendship that Inside Story unfurls. From their early days as young magazine staffers in London, reviewing romantic entanglements and the latest literary gossip (not to mention ideas, books, and where to lunch), Hitch was Amis's wingman and adviser, especially in the matter of the alluringly amoral Phoebe Phelps—an obsession Amis must somehow put behind him if he is ever to find love, marriage, a plausible run at happiness.

Other figures competing as Amis's main influencers are his literary fathers—Kingsley, of course; his hero Saul Bellow; the weirdly self-finessing poet Philip Larkin—and his significant literary mothers, including Iris Murdoch and Elizabeth Jane Howard. Moving among these greats to set his own path, he winds up surveying the horrors of the twentieth century, and the still-unfolding impact of the 9/11 attacks on the twenty-first—and considers what all of this has taught him about how to live and how to be a writer.

The result is a love letter to life—and to the people in his life—that achieves a new level of confidentiality with his readers, giving us the previously unseen portrait of his extraordinary world.

About the Author

MARTIN AMIS is the author of 15 novels—among them Zone of Interest, London Fields, Time’s Arrow, The Information, and Night Train—along with the memoir Experience, the novelized self-portrait Inside Story, two collections of stories, and seven nonfiction books. He died in 2023.

Praise for Inside Story: A novel (Vintage International)


“[A] charismatic compound of fact and fiction.... Includes some of Amis’s best writing to date.” The New York Times  
“Warm, generous and deeply moving, whether on the subject of fatherhood, love or friendship.... The finest work he’s produced.” The Observer

“His most beautiful book.” New York Times Book Review

“A five-course meal of a book.... It’s a memoir tucked inside an endearingly discursive novel.” Vanity Fair, “The Fifteen Best Books of 2020”

“Brilliant ... Abounds with entertaining anecdotes ... [Amis] explores the rich terrain of how matters of the heart (and loins) inform art ... Stylistically, Inside Story is most reminiscent of Dylan’s Chronicles, a master artist following his muse to create a genre-defying and career-defining work.” Booklist (starred review)

“Amis' newest novel [is] unlike anything Amis has written. It's unlike anything anyone has written.... Inside Story is the 71-year old writer’s death-haunted ode to life.” Esquire

“The great lines come flying at you, as always, volleyed out of the cleft of the book and into the magic space beneath your raised eyebrows ... and there are good jokes, too.... [Amis] wants to lance the moment with language, and he wants his language to live forever.” The Atlantic

Inside Story is a book of gloriously unchecked preoccupations: sex, Saul Bellow, literature, sex, Philip Larkin, anti-Semitism, aging, smoking, sex, Christopher Hitchens, terrorism, suicide. Did I mention sex? ... Fans will revel in the excess and piling up of Amis’s sentences, which are both wired and ruthlessly controlled.” Vogue

“This once-young buck of the British literary scene cannot help but look death, mortality, and the meaning of life squarely in the face. And he does so with a singular panache and much offhanded wit.... [Inside Story] caps Amis’s estimable literary career with cheeky candor and more than a touch of razzle-dazzle.” BookPage