Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Book Review: London Fields by Martin Amis

London Fields is a dark, bleak novel, strangely laced with a black humour chiefly provided by the vividly portrayed and memorable characters. The plot, if there is a plot at all, is that Nicola Six has somehow foreseen her imminent and violent death and by playing the wife beating Keith Talent off against the married and polite Guy Clinch she keeps the reader wondering who her killer may be.

This book is not really about the plot though and much more about the characters. Keith Talent is one of the most memorable characters I have ever come across in a novel, both loveable and detestable at the same time and a devotee of the relion known as darts! Keith's philosphical rants, based around darts, are quite comical as well as depressing and form the backbone of the story, whilst the boudoir of Nicola Six acts as a focal point to which the two male characters are constantly drawn. Nicola becomes both the ultimate male fantasy and at the same time the ultimate male nemesis, appealing both to male and female readers alike.

Unfortunately London Fields is far too long and at times it can be difficult to maintain interest due to the meandering style and dubious plot, however, the excellent characters make up for this at least to some degree.

London Fields is recommended to readers interested in well developed characters but for those that are after a fast paced plot this is certainly one to leave alone. An interesting novel and one that is worth reading even if the reader comes to the conclusion that it isn't for them.

Score: 7/10

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