The New York Times loves Martin Amis’ new novel, House of Meetings, which rather heartens me because I agree with Kakutani’s low assessment of his last few novels. But his best stuff—and here I’m thinking of Money, mentioned in my comments about The Player—cements his reputation, and even his worst is at least serious. Next Friday he’ll be in Seattle. In the meantime, enjoy this Q&A. Sample:
The phrase “horrorism”, which you invented to describe 9/11, is unintentionally hilarious. Have you got any more? JONATHAN BROOKS, by email
Yes, I have. Here’s a good one (though I can hardly claim it as my own): the phrase is “fuck off”.
How do you think you might have ended up spending your working life if your father hadn’t been a famous writer? JOHN GORDON, Eastleigh
Well, John, that would depend on what my father had chosen to do instead. If he had been a postman, then I would have been a postman. If he had been a travel agent, then I would have been a travel agent. Do you get the idea?
There are serious answers too, though all of them have at least something comic about them, which, as Robertson Davies does, should be distinguished from funny or silly.