Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions

Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions Fuelled by innumerable cigarettes Martin Amis provides dazzling portraits of contemporaries and mentors alike Larkin and Rushdie Greene and Pritchett Ballard and Burgess and Nicholson Baker John Updi

  • Title: Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions
  • Author: Martin Amis
  • ISBN: 9780099461876
  • Page: 221
  • Format: Paperback
  • Fuelled by innumerable cigarettes, Martin Amis provides dazzling portraits of contemporaries and mentors alike Larkin and Rushdie Greene and Pritchett Ballard and Burgess and Nicholson Baker John Updike warts and all Vigorously zipping across to Washington, he exposes the double think of nuke speak in New Orleans the Republican Convention gets a going over And theFuelled by innumerable cigarettes, Martin Amis provides dazzling portraits of contemporaries and mentors alike Larkin and Rushdie Greene and Pritchett Ballard and Burgess and Nicholson Baker John Updike warts and all Vigorously zipping across to Washington, he exposes the double think of nuke speak in New Orleans the Republican Convention gets a going over And then there s sport he visits the world of darts and its disastrous attempt to clean itself up dirty tricks in the world of chess and some brisk but vicious poker with Al Alvarez and David Mamet.Sex without Madonna, expulsion from school, a Stones gig that should have been gagged, on set with Robocop or on court with Gabriela Sabatini, this is Martin Amis at his electric best.

    One thought on “Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions”

    1. Martin Amis writing jazzy, restrained, well-informed, and right-minded journalism about the titular Mrs. V.N nuclear lunacy, the making of Robocop II, nude sunbathing at Cannes, darts, snooker, poker, getting expelled, John Updike, John Lennon, Elton John's soccer team's trip to China, in-flight turbulence, Nicholson Baker, Phillip Larkin, underhanded bouts of chess between Kasparov and Kaparov, Salman Rushdie, Saul Bellow, and the weird world of Republican primary buffoonery: what's not to love [...]

    2. My favorite passage:Just before the 1978 Championship I interviewed Korchnoi in London, at the Savoy. At one point, twisting powerfully in his chair, he became silent, and then grew dreamy. With some wistfulness he confessed that he despaired of ever bringing home, to people in the West, the crawling sliminess, the full squidgy horror, of Anatoly Karpov. 'You know, in Russia we have a fish,' he said, 'called a karp. A disgusting, slimy fish. You wouldn't eat it. That's what Karpov is.' I said, ' [...]

    3. Enjoyable pieces written by Amis in the 1980s and 1990s. The best articles were the ones about Salman Rushdie, Saul Bellow, Issac Assimov, and Martin's visit to Vera Nabokov.

    4. What a brilliant title, so inspired and inciting, this book has got! The contents, however, were a little bit disappointing, a hurry-scurry of places, games, people whose only connection was, as the author himself says in the Introduction, “getting out of the house.”And these “excursions” outdoors imply not only visits to some famous widows, but also going to concerts, flying dangerously, accompanying sport teams, watching games and politics and of course, interviewing authors in order t [...]

    5. Martin Amis is one of my favorite writers, but this collection of non-fiction just kind of sucks. I don't give a fuck about nukes.

    6. Astonishingly well-written, always insightful, by turns hilarious and deadly serious, and with an admirable variation of topics, Amis's essays are the best I've read since the peak of Vidal's career. In other words, he vies with his late friend Christopher Hitchens as the best essayist of the last twenty or so years. This collection is a superb introduction to Amis's body of work, and the pleasures it provides are constant and surprising.

    7. He's at his best when he writes about other writers and their writings: Greene, Updike, Ballard, Naipaul, Bellow, Rushdie, Larkin, Burgess and of course, Nabokov. But there is no worst in this collection, only less than best. These are the pieces like RoboCop II, Expelled and Cannes, which though well-done, seem a bit too ephemeral to be put between the covers of a book.

    8. Amis is amusing, but not nearly as funny or original as I wish he was. The best stuff is all about authors and their lives: Graham Greene, V.S. Pritchett, John Braine, Isaac Asimov, the Nabokovs. The worst is all about sports.

    9. "Nuclear City: The Megadeath Intellectuals," page 16:"A train carrying the Hiroshima yield in TNT form would take up four miles of track. A train carrying the equivalent of the Soviet H-bomb would put a girdle round the earth at the latitude of London with a three-thousand-mile overlap. Military strategists, of course, have a special contempt for such Believe-It-or-Not formulations. And that contempt is understandable. For at moments like these, nuclear weapons edge out of their shadowland; they [...]

    10. Strong voice, and a college level vocabulary. These are mostly commissioned magazine articles by Amis, often where he’s put into a strange situation, like playing poker with other authors or interviewing Mrs. Nabokov. OK for a bit of heavy light reading.

    11. Rozhovory se spisovateli jsem tolik neocenil, neboť jsem spoustu z nich neznal, naopak mě velmi potěšily sportovní repky (tenis, šipky atd.). Funguje to taky jako dobrá zásobárna tipů na čtení :)

    12. "Visually, though, one got some point of [] Mick. This well-put-together, vitamin-packed unit of a human being does not really dance any more: it's simply that his head, his shoulders, his pelvis, both his arms, both his legs, both his huge feet and both his buttocks are wriggling, at great speed, independently, all the time."The hilarious quote is, of course, about Mick Jagger, whose stage performance during the 1976 Rolling Stones concert at Earls Court did not impress Martin Amis much; I wond [...]

    13. A selection of journalistic articles from Amis, written for the likes of Esquire, the Observer and The New Statesman, back in the days before he became a tiresome, intolerant bore.Most of the thirty three pieces are very short and can be split into two main categories: writing about places, or writing about other writers. Only one article distinguishes itself in both length and subject.This article is named 'Nuclear City: The Megadeath Intellectuals'. Well, OK, the title tells you that it's also [...]

    14. This is a collection of pieces Martin Amis did for newspapers and magazines in the eighties and early nineties. It surely is a mixed bag, but I have catholic tastes: I'm interested in darts, political conventions ànd Anthony Burgess. Amis’ writing is unfailingly good, at times scintillating. This is a great bedside book.The main reason I withhold a fourth star is spite. I was gobsmacked by Amis’ ignorance about Belgium, my home country. He seems to think it takes two days to cross it (it ta [...]

    15. There's no sense in denying that I skipped to the parts about writers: Graham Greene, John Updike, Anthony Burgess, Isaac Asimov, etc. Portraits of this kind, as found in Alfred Kazin's works (but way, way better in imagery and poetic nuance), have always compelled me. These pieces are short, though, and leave one wanting more. What a joy if he had lengthened the observations on Updike's "demented" cheerfulness and sentimentality, as well as Asimov's acknowledgement that it takes a great effort [...]

    16. As much as I love Amis' fiction (Money and Dead Babies especially), I love his works of journalism even more. One of my favorites I read in 2012. While some of the topics are dated--a 20 page treatise on the historically uneventful 1988 Republican Presidential Convention comes to mind-- the joy of writing and thinking shines through and guides the modern reader though. Cold war era nuclear fear is a running motif throughout most of the essays, as was common in Amis 1980s and early 90s work, but [...]

    17. This is a compilation of some of Amis' best essays, book reviews and articles, published in the British press in the 1980s and 1990s. His writing is entertaining, witty and often humorous. However, the author shows a tendency to indulge in his own talent with words a bit too much sometimes, making the reader wonder if his pieces are about the subject at hand or, really, just about the author's own sharp mind.In any case, it has a few pearls, fabulous pieces about Salman Rushdie, Isaac Asimov, V. [...]

    18. I don't know what he's got, but he's such a pleasure to read that I can't get enough of him. I'm looking forward to diving head first into a big pile of his books sooner rather than later (I hope).He can do anything- and with a sly humor which is pretty dark, a sure eye of absurdism, dazzling erudition, common sense, and a sincere if subtle moral purpose.Long live Martin Amis

    19. Though my experience with martin Amis's fiction has been decidedly mixed (partly because he has a penchant for writing about truly despicable characters, and seems to relish doing so), I find his essays to be generally rewarding. This collection of pieces, written in the 1980's for the most part, were interesting and not as dated as one might imagine.

    20. Despite making fun of Martin Amis in a recent blog post, I really enjoyed this collection of profiles, ranging from John Updike to Roman Polanski to Madonna. Martin Amis is primarily known as a novelist but he's a great journalist and doesn't take himself too seriously. If you're not in the mood for a novel but want to sample great writing in drips and drabs, I'd check this out.

    21. The essays in this book, like all others by Amis, are interesting, funny, and take on a broad range of subjects. My favorites are his visit with Graham Greene and Isaac Asimov as well as his essay on Salman Rushdie.Excellent read.

    22. Very good collection of his journalism. The features on other authors - Updike, Rushdie esp good. Very sharp and funny pieces on the Republican Convention in 1988 - Dan Quayle, he reads like an Amis creation. What a cretin.Best Amis-ism in the book: obese tourist - 'shot to pieces gastrically'.

    23. A great pleasure to read Amis's reviews and essays, as he brings the same black wit and fine intelligence to bear on everything from writing contests to Kurt Vonnegut, and in the process reveals lots about his writing process, thinking, and more.

    24. Pretty good, some parts quite amusing, some of these essays were especially dated and necessarily a relic of their time. I'll probably read more of Amis' essays, however.

    25. Excellent prose by Amis, as always. His cool, dispassionate, and hilarious narrative of what it was like to attend a Rolling Stones concert was itself worth the price of admission.

    26. Not as good as the 'war against cliche' but he cant write badly, he just doesnt let himself, his standards are so damn high.

    27. Some funny bits & I liked the author essays but I had to reach for the dictionary too much. This guy seems to exult in his own erudition way too much

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