D J Taylor

The History of Mart

The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

By

Jonathan Cape 490pp £20 order from our bookshop

One reads collections of reprinted book reviews by distinguished novelists for several reasons: from simple curiosity (to see what they think of old friends and recent acquaintances), in search of low–level quirks and self–betrayals (the interest in big–game hunting or bronzed musclemen relentlessly pursued across the decades), but above all in the hope, or rather the confident expectation, that what emerges will tell you something– and something pretty revealing– about the creative impulse lurking all the while in the background. It happens with Updike, it happens with Ballard (to name a couple of writers whom publishing economics allow to get away with this kind of vanity parade), and it certainly happens with Martin Amis.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Who is Bibi, and why does he simultaneously arouse such admiration and antagonism?' A review of the newest biograp… ,
    • RT : Joseph Brodsky had a story about about one marathon Fidel Castro speech that was so tedious and repetitive it spark… ,
    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,