Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Money: A Suicide Note (1984)

by Martin Amis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,225533,934 (3.63)132
Porn freak and jetsetter, John Self, is the shameless heir to a fast-food culture where money beats out an invitation to futile self-gratification. Out in New York, mingling with the mighty, Self is embroiled in the corruption, the brutality and the obscenity of the money conspiracy.
  1. 01
    Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn (shaunie)
    shaunie: Both have a dissolute main character going to pieces in NYC! Amis's book has much more meat on its bones, although both are very well written.
  2. 02
    Fury by Salman Rushdie (vsnunez)
    vsnunez: Both are clever, well-written tales of modern life from a British point of view, but set largely in NYC

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 132 mentions

English (51)  Spanish (2)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Finally got round to reading this dark and glittering rough gem of misanthropy - prompted by a desire to read it before watching the BBC adaptation.

I was a bit surprised at how chaotic the novel was. I had expected the plot and the prose to be slicker, cleaner. But I think that's purely about expectation - I'm sure that Amis was precisely in control of this novel.

To me, it feels a little dated now - obviously the setting is nearly 20 years old, but that's not the main thing (to a large extent, if you threw in a few mobile phones it could easily serve as a parable for the early 2000s). No it was more the writing - the slang that Amis invented, the pre-figuring of major plot points, the post-modern, self-referential plot and the rambling first person - that feels very familiar by now. But I suspect it feels done because it has been so imitated in the intervening years.

I do wonder what I would have made of it as a teenager, when I passed up Amis in favour of McEwan and Winterson. I suspect I may have rejected its misanthropy, and found John Self too thoroughly dislikeable to enjoy it, even as a cautionary tale. While, now, I enjoyed the book hugely, I rather think my teenage self would have had a point. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Amis's fiction drips with cynicism. John Self is a debauched anti-hero whose relationship with money is the critical conflict here - money can buy sex, booze, drugs, and access - but in the end it is as fleeting as the tide. Self's relationship with Martina seems to be as close to love as Self can muster in the emotional vacuum he lives - here is a "woman of quality", well-read, cultured, and inevitably jilted. John can't fulfill her (or himself) sexually, but her influence seems to change his focus from money and the pleasures of the flesh to the life of the mind, which requires some sobriety. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
Classic Amis with a seedy character with few redeeming features ( )
  brakketh | Aug 15, 2022 |
When I bought Money I thought that it would be the tale of someone who work in the stock markets and that John Self would be the character that Patrick Bateman is in American Psycho. I always try to avoid reading too much into the details of a book before reading it. I find that ruins a lot of the storyline for me and in this case, not knowing much about it was a huge bonus.

Unlike a lot of people who have read this, I didnt find it hilarious but there is a lot of dark humor in the writing. The story is like the life of Self, very messy, jumping around and chaotic. There are gaps in the story which only come to life later because Self is often drunk and forgets things easily. This can make it a little sketchy in places but really adds to the character and the narration of the tale.

Given the underlying nature of the story it couldn't be more appropriate given the current state of affairs in Europe and America. Excess spending (of money that isnt really there) ties very well into this along with over eating, total consumerism and sexual irresponsibility. I also really liked the brand names that Amis uses, Self's car is a Fiasco in name and deeds for example.

I'm looking forward to reading some more by Amis now even though I didnt find the book to be a real page turner. I tend to read in many short burst and every time I finished a mini stint I found myself mulling over what I had read and wondering where everything was heading. It was a steady burner for me, keeping my interest engaged but not to the extent that I couldn't put it down. A decent read. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 14, 2021 |
I only heard of “Money” by Martin Amis from reading about the Dire Straits song, “Heavy Fuel”. Prior to that, I don’t think I’d ever even heard of Martin Amis.

Overall, I struggled to read this novel. I kept dozing off during it, the book falling out of my fingers as I fell asleep. But the plot and the main character kept me interested enough to pick it up again when I woke up, or the next day each time.

The story follows a fellow named John Self who directs TV commercials as he’s brought to New York City by a movie producer to direct his first feature film.

Self is a serious alcoholic, and an obnoxious drunk. He’s a terrible womanizer and treats almost everyone he’s around pretty poorly. All in all, Self is just a very unlikeable character.

He does get a little better in the latter third of the story, when the real work of making the film is going on and he drinks a lot less while in a relationship with a smarter, more stable woman. During that portion of the book I was able to read it for longer periods, too, without dozing off.

Most of the story takes place in New York City, with a little bit in London when he makes a few trips home. I’m glad I’ve read it now that I live in NYC because I know the geography. When Amis writes about Self going to bars on 42nd Street, I know where that is, when he walks to one on 28th Street, I know the geography. When he goes to the Upper West Side I can visualize it, as well as when he describes a bad tooth being on the “Upper West Side” of his mouth, I know just what part of his mouth he means…

Overall, I didn’t like the book much, but once in it I still wanted to get to the end. ( )
  KevinRubin | May 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
"the best celebrity novel I know: the stars who demand and wheedle their way across his plot seem less like caricature and more like photorealism every year."
added by GYKM | editTime, David Lipsky (Jul 5, 2010)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin Amisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Golüke, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malcolm, GraemeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, Hans-JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schönfeld, EikeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This is a suicidal note. By the time you lay it aside (and you should always read these things slowly, on the lookout for clues or give-aways), John Self will no longer exist. Or at any rate that's the idea. You never can tell, though, with suicide notes, can you? In the planetary aggregate of all life, there are many more suicide notes than there are suicides. They're like poems in that respect, suicide notes: nearly everyone tries their hand at them some time, with or without the talent. We all write them in our heads. Usually the note is the thing. You complete it, and then resume your time travel. It is the note and not the life that is cancelled out. Or the other way round. Or death. You never can tell, though, can you, with suicide notes.

To whom is the note addressed? To Martina, to Fielding, to Vera, to Alec, to Selina, to Barry - to John Self? No. It is meant for you out there, the dear, the gentle. 

London, September 1981
To Antonia
First words
As my cab pulled off FDR Drive, somewhere in the early Hundreds, a low-slung Tomahawk full of black guys came sharking out of lane and slopped in fast right across our bows.
The quenched light of this joke June, in the shape of a sail or a breast, swells its camber across the room.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Porn freak and jetsetter, John Self, is the shameless heir to a fast-food culture where money beats out an invitation to futile self-gratification. Out in New York, mingling with the mighty, Self is embroiled in the corruption, the brutality and the obscenity of the money conspiracy.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions


Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.63)
0.5 1
1 22
1.5 3
2 50
2.5 13
3 143
3.5 33
4 220
4.5 24
5 113

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 197,521,322 books! | Top bar: Always visible