Heavy Water and Other Stories
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"Martin Amis is a stone-solid genius...a dazzling star of wit and insight." --The Wall Street Journal
In this wickedly delightful collection of stories, Martin Amis once again demonstrates why he is a modern master of the form. In "Career Move," screenwriters struggle for their art, while poets are the darlings of Hollywood. In "Straight Fiction," the love that dare not speak its name calls out to the hero when he encounters a forbidden object of desire--the opposite sex. And in "State of England," Mal, a former "minder to the superstars," discovers how to live in a country where "class and race and gender were supposedly gone."
In Heavy Water and Other Stories, Amis astonishes us with the vast range of his talent, establishing that he is one of the most versatile and gifted writers of his generation.
seat of the old Subaru—in a cinema parking lot out by the airport somewhere. Sheilagh had sorted a ticket for him from the London end: fourteen hours to go. He regarded the flight home not as a journey, not as a return, not as a defeat, but as a free meal. Peanuts first, he thought. Or Bombay Mix. When he saw the sign he thought it was just another hallucination. “Maurie’s Birthday Burger” … All you had to do was show up with your driver’s license. You could expect a free burger, and a hero’s
(this and that). He had felt the tug of no other calling. He had stayed with it, like a brand loyalty. “So,” said Fat Lol, “what you’re saying, if there’s something going—this and that—you’d be on for a bit of it.” “Exactly.” “On a part-time basis. Nights.” “Yeah.” Fat Lol: he provided dramatic proof of the proposition that you are what you eat. Fat Lol was what he ate. More than this, Fat Lol was what he was eating. And he was eating, for his lunch, an English breakfast—Del’s All Day
recklessness and elation, Vernon did it everywhere. He hauled himself roughly on to the bedroom floor and did it there. He did it under the impassive gaze of the bathroom’s porcelain and steel. With scandalized laughter he dragged himself out protesting to the garden toolshed and did it there. He did it lying on the kitchen table. For a while he took to doing it in the open air, in windy parks, behind hoardings in the town, on churned fields; it made his knees tremble. He did it in corridorless
Chevrolet Celebrity on the fifth floor of the studio car park and rode down in the elevator with two minor executives in tracksuits who were discussing the latest records broken by “ ’Tis he whose yester-evening’s high disdain.” He put on his dark glasses as he crossed the other car park, the one reserved for major executives. Each bay had a name on it. It reassured Luke to see Joe’s name there, partly obscured by his Range Rover. Poets, of course, seldom had that kind of clout. Or any clout at
here.” “What was it about June nine?” asked Montgomery Gruber (geophysiology). “We looked into it and nothing happened.” “You mean you looked into it and you think nothing happened. Plenty happened. Some asshole of an otter or a beaver sealed off a minor tributary of the River Lee in Washington State … along certain latitudes a critical fraction of microbal life committed itself to significant changes in its respiratory metabolism … the forty-seven billionth self-cooling cola can burped out its