Martin Amis Quotes

  • In America, the policeman is a working-class hero. In England, the policeman is a working-class traitor.
  • Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without the thorn.
  • It is very difficult, it is perhaps impossible, for someone who loves his mother to love the woman whom your father left her for.
  • Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented. But they can be taken out of the gun.
  • Novelists tend to go off at 70, and I'm in a funk about it, I've got myself into a real paranoid funk about it, how the talent dies before the body.
  • Kingsley Amis was a lenient father. His paternal style, in the early years, can best be described as amiably minimalist - in other words, my mother did it all.
  • Every writer hopes or boldly assumes that his life is in some sense exemplary, that the particular will turn out to be universal.
  • Tennis: the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style, and wit. A beautiful game, but one so remorselessly travestied by the passage of time.
  • The literary interview won't tell you what a writer is like. Far more compellingly to some, it will tell you what a writer is like to interview.
  • If God existed, and if He cared for humankind, He would never have given us religion.
  • You cannot combine being a movie star with not being a movie star.
  • Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.
  • Style is not neutral; it gives moral directions.
  • It's an ancient idea that the leader of a democracy should not be the cleverest but the most average. That's an arguable point, but the world has decided otherwise - except in America, where it still divides the country right down the middle.
  • Deciding to write a novel about something - as opposed to finding you are writing a novel around something - sounds to me like a good evocation of writer's block.
  • I am, incidentally, the only writer to have received the Somerset Maugham award twice - the first time for my first novel, the second time for my second first novel.
  • No novel has ever changed anything, as far as I can see.
  • Money doesn't mind if we say it's evil, it goes from strength to strength. It's a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.
  • Watching an adaptation of your novel can be a violent experience: seeing your old jokes suddenly thrust at you can be alarming. But I started to enjoy 'Money' very quickly, and then I relaxed.
  • The middle class is doing fine in fiction. But it's not what gets me going. I love the working class, and everyone from it I've met, and think they're incredibly witty, inventive - there's a lot of poetry there.
  • My literary career kicked off in 1956 when, as a resident of Swansea, South Wales, I published my first novel, 'Lucky Jim.'
  • All my adult life I have been searching for the right adjective to describe my father's peculiarly aggressive comic style. I recently settled on 'defamatory.'
  • When I wrote 'The Pregnant Widow' three or four years ago, I tried to reread my first novel, 'The Rachel Papers,' because their young heroes are the same age. I couldn't finish it. It seemed to me so technically slapdash and weak.
  • Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without thorn.