The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1994-2017 (Vintage International) (Paperback)
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As a journalist, critic, and novelist, Martin Amis has always turned his keen intellect and unrivaled prose loose on an astonishing range of topics—politics, sports, celebrity, America, and, of course, literature. Collected here is some of his best nonfiction work from over two decades. Amis writes about finally confronting the effects of aging on his athletic prowess. He revisits the worlds of Bellow and Nabokov, his “twin peaks,” masters who have obsessed and inspired him. And he turns his piercingly observant eye on Donald Trump, whom he finds “scowling out from under an omelette of makeup” in the run-up to the 2016 Republican Convention, and at a post-election rally, regarding his crowd of supporters with a “flat sneer of Ozymandian hauteur.”
Overflowing with startling and singular turns of phrase, and complete with new commentary by the author, The Rub of Time is a vital addition to any bookshelf, and the perfect primer for readers discovering Amis’s fierce talents for the first time.
About the Author
MARTIN AMIS is the author of fourteen novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories, and six previous nonfiction books. He lives in Brooklyn.
"The book's heart [is] its literary criticism, labor that allows Amis to realize his most comfortable and integrated self: a novelist engaged in the scrupulous appreciation of others' style. . . . Amis cherishes the most cosmopolitan virtue of all, humor, [and] approvingly quotes Clive James's observation that 'common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing.' To be without one is to be without the other, a double lack that would doom a writer [to] the inability to rub up against human nature, to strike the sparks of awareness and style that here illuminate everything, especially the books in Amis’s firm grip." —The New Yorker
"The product of a ferocious yet sensitive mind . . . Amis's book is like hurtling down a black-diamond ski run. . . . His aim is so unerring that he resembles a figure out of Greek myth, firing arrows through ax-heads lined up in a row." —The New York Times
“Amis at his considered best, witty, erudite, and unafraid. . . . This collection is full of treasures.” —The Guardian
"Amis writes with buoyant and cutting authority. His vocabulary, cross-pollinated by his trans-Atlantic reading and life, is pinpoint and peppery; his syntax supple and ensnaring. The pleasure Amis takes in observation, cogitation, and composition is palpable, and he is acidly funny. . . Amis writes with agility, spirit, artistry, and a shrewd sense of the deepest implications." —Booklist
“Glorious. . . . Very few writers can surprise and delight in the way Martin Amis can.” —The Telegraph
“Martin Amis is a great writer and a great reader. . . . He is our sure-footed mountain guide, leading us gleefully from one delight to the next.” —The Sunday Times (London)
“A sharp, witty collection. . . . Literate, perspicacious, and thoroughly entertaining.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Certitude is the key to Amis’s superhuman flair—and what makes this collection so compelling.” —The New Statesman (London)
“Amis is infallibly a lucid, linguistically precise commentator. . . . A witty, welcome presence.” —Publishers Weekly