Martin Amis: The Biography

Front Cover
Little, Brown Book Group, Nov 3, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages

Martin Amis's life could itself provide the formula for an enthralling work of fiction. Son of one of the most popular and best-loved novelists of the post-War era, he has forged a groundbreaking manner of writing that owes nothing to the style of his father, nor indeed to anyone else. He relished and recorded the bizarre, turbulent atmosphere of Britain and the US during the 1970s and 80s, arguably the transformative period of the late 20th century. No other contemporary writer has proved so magnetic for the popular press: he has, despite himself, achieved celebrity status. Of late, his reputation as a novelist has been matched by his outspoken, challenging writing on contemporary global politics, and he has earned the status as the Orwell of the early 21st century.

Martin Amis offers the real Martin Amis, a cabinet of contrasts: tortured, eloquently aloof, kind, obsessive, loved by women, a dedicated family man, often the architect of his own undoing, and a literary genius. Moreover, this fascinating biography discloses the autobiographical thread that runs through Amis's books.

Richard Bradford has talked with Amis at length, questioned him on his childhood, his private history, his opinions and the inspiration for his fiction, and these exchanges are supplemented by interviews with a large number of his friends and fellow writers.

Praise for Richard Bradford's previous titles:

Praise for Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis:

'Nearly all critical biographies relate the work to the life - insidiously, tendentiously, helplessly. Richard Bradford is different: he does it convincingly, and with vigour. The result is an original and stimulating book'. Martin Amis

'I found Bradford's approach refreshing. Rare among literary academics he writes clearly, doesn't show off and knows a lot about his subject. He presents a fascinating chronicle of the development of Amis's brilliant ear for speech... He also brings out the full extent of the symbiosis between Amis and his best friend Philip Larkin: in a way Larkin invented Amis.' Craig Brown

'At his better moments Bradford... rises to Amis's stylistic level.' Humphrey Carpenter

What people are saying - Write a review

MARTIN AMIS: The Biography

User Review  - Kirkus

Indifferently written bio of "the best prose stylist in English…in the closing decades of the last and the opening of this century."Martin Amis is, of course, the famed one-time bad boy of British ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Born in Derbyshire in 1957, Richard Bradford was educated at the University of Wales and at Oxford. He has held academic posts in Oxford, Wales and Trinity College, Dublin. He is currently and Research Professor in English at the University of Ulster. He has published twenty books, including Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis (2001), First Boredom, Then Fear: The Life of Philip Larkin (2005) and The Life of A Long Distance Writer: The Authorised Biography of Alan Sillitoe.

Bibliographic information