Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis

Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis

“Fucking, fighting, drinking, smoking, swearing - all in a day’s work”

Overview: Money is the hilarious story of John Self, one of London's top commercial directors, who is given the opportunity to make his first feature film. He is also living money, talking money, and spending money in his relentless pursuit of pleasure and success. As he attempts to navigate his hedonistic world of drinking, sex, drugs, and excessive quantities of fast food, Self is sucked into a wretched spiral of degeneracy that is increasingly difficult to surface from.

Money has a wild style, moment to moment ravings and feels super realistic. It is outrageous, nerve-racking and makes you think twice about drinking so often. The story is exciting, as the hero is a reprobate, using alcohol, drugs and sex to hide realities from himself. The writing was terrific. Amis described the life in Los Angeles, New York and London very well. If you need a linear story with an upright hero, you won't like this book. 

The lead character is loathsome, the plot contains some really twisted moments, and the language is a bit more flowery than I normally prefer. Throughout the book, John Self (the hero/anti-hero of the novel) really started to grow on me. While this was my first Amis novel, I doubt it will be my last.

Here’s a quote that seems to capture the “flowery” style of writing:

"Each life is a game of chess that went to hell on the seventh move, and now the flukey play is cramped and slow, a dream of constraint and cross-purpose, with each move forced, all pieces pinned and skewered and zugzwanged… But here and there we see these figures who appear to run on the true lines, and they are terrible examples. They're rich, usually."