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Lionel Asbo

Lionel Asbo (2012)

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3771841,958 (3.55)31
Title:Lionel Asbo
Info:Random House Export, Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis (2012)



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English (17)  Catalan (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I put this book in my three-dollar bag of books at the library book sale, the Sunday after Brexit, and am glad I didn't pay more: Lionel Asbo has its moments but misses its potential because it lacks narrative drive, is painfully predictable, and has a weirdly abrupt (not to mention confusing) ending. ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
Lionel Asbo is a hybrid book, I think.

It's part family saga, part social commentary, and in being neither one nor the other, it sort of lost its strength a bit, I think.

The plot is a little bit irrelevant, because it's mostly about the characters. I do think this is one of the few books of Martin Amis' that I currently prefer, because it is quite dark and quite funny. It has a lot of gallows humour and I found it pretty readable.

Though I will say the sheer amount of racism in this book is hard to take. And like most of Amis' novels, though it starts off as a jaunty experiment, it descends into a special sort of dark place at a bottom of a proverbial well that gives you no place to hide from England's apparent ugliness.

3 stars from me. c:

(Also I can't remember any trigger warnings, sorry!) ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
An enjoyable read. Holds you hostage until you are done! ( )
  vwriter | Aug 10, 2016 |
biting satire of modern society and class, brilliant if not a bit weird ( )
  PaulRx04 | Apr 15, 2016 |
This book was disappointing, I was expecting something a little harder hitting and in the end it just petered out into blandness. I also found two things confusing and irritating throughout - 1. Cockneys do not use 'you' and 'they' the way they are presented here, granted it's only the title character that does it but still it was wholly annoying. 2. I can't work out why Martin Amis set the gran's age so low and then proceeded to treat her like an elderly lady! By my reckoning she's only in her late forties by the end of the book but she's gone through the whole journey of the beginnings of madness to suffering from dementia and then has been shuffled off to a retirement home only to die a lonely confused death. I don't get it and I don't think it works very well but Martin Amis is a master and so there must be a thematic reason that I'm not seeing - it, and other clunky devices, ensured that my enjoyment for this book remained distinctly average. ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Who let the dogs in?
  ... This, we fear, is going to be
     the question.
 Who let the dogs in?

Who let the dogs in?
Voor Christopher Hitchens
For Christopher Hitchens
First words
Lieve Jennaveieve,
Ik heb een relatie met een oudere vrouw.
Dear Jennaveieve,
    I am having an affair with an older woman.
As the land flattened out towards the pasture, and as the horses now nobly loomed, he came to a deep trench perhaps twenty feet across. Within was a thrill ride of twirling razor wire; it squirmed like a barber's pole, and faintly crackled.
The air itself was thick. Thick and weak, as if the room was about to faint.
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307958086, Hardcover)

A savage, funny, and mysteriously poignant saga by a renowned author at the height of his powers. 

Lionel Asbo, a terrifying yet weirdly loyal thug (self-named after England's notorious Anti-Social Behaviour Order), has always looked out for his ward and nephew, the orphaned Desmond Pepperdine.  He provides him with fatherly career advice (always carry a knife, for example) and is determined they should share the joys of pit bulls (fed with lots of Tabasco sauce), Internet porn, and all manner of more serious criminality.  Des, on the other hand, desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love (and to protect a family secret that could be the death of him).  But just as he begins to lead a gentler, healthier life, his uncle—once again in a London prison—wins £140 million in the lottery and upon his release hires a public relations firm and begins dating a cannily ambitious topless model and “poet.”  Strangely, however, Lionel's true nature remains uncompromised while his problems, and therefore also Desmond's, seem only to multiply.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A satire of modern society and celebrity culture finds the seemingly simple pursuits of young Desmond Pepperdine hampered by his uncle Lionel's near-criminal habits, which become more prominent when Lionel wins the lottery.

(summary from another edition)

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