Fans of British novelist Martin Amis who are waiting for him to deliver a fictional commentary on the United States might be in for a long wait. The acclaimed author, who made a move to the United States six months ago, says it will probably take him some time to dig into the culture of his new country in the manner he has the United Kingdom in his new satirical book Lionel Asbo: State of England.
One thing Amis is certain of, however, is his bewilderment that, in the current state of austerity, some US citizens actually think it is a good idea to give tax breaks to the wealthy. “I mean, everyone would say, hang on, tax cuts for the rich?” he comments. Amis also notes that both the US and Britain are pursuing a “terrific evil” of trying to separate the rich and the poor “back to the levels after the first World War”.
Amis’ new novel, his 13th, is a satire on declining morality and celebrity culture, with its anti-social hero becoming a celebrity phenomenon after he wins the lottery. It rips into the kind of reality TV shows whose ‘stars’ achieve fame by indulging in base actions.
Amis became the target of media scrutiny himself because of his relocation to the US, with the British media attempting to make out it was an act of spite against the UK. In truth, Amis says was the move to be nearer to his wife’s mother and his writer friend Christopher Hitchens, now deceased.