It was Richard Pryor who gave us that rapid, vehement battle cry: “Money, Money, Money!!!” It was Time Magazine who recommended Money by Martin Amis as one of the one-hundred greatest novels of the last century. Put your money on Richard Pryor.
I enjoy reading Martin Amis. He’s a good writer with a lot of erudition behind his work. He often uses his craftsman-like writing skills to extend, manipulate, experiment with fiction, and that is good. Perhaps when Money was first published, this cutesy schtick was popular but now it just seems silly and unbelievably trite. Still, coming out at the beginning of the Reagan era, I suppose it’s understandable if the editors of Time were as delusional about Money as they were about Reaganomics. But John Self is no Gordon Gekko. He is, however, at best a cartoonish version of Patrick Melrose.