Acclaim for MARTIN AMIS

'One of the most gifted novelists of his generation.'


'Amis is a force unto himself… . There is, quite simply, no one else like him.'

Washington Post Book World

'Martin Amis is a stone-solid genius … a dazzling star of wit and insight.'

- Wall Street Journal

'Amis is a born comic novelist, in the tradition that ranges from Dickens to Waugh… . [His] mercurial style can rise to Joycean brilliance.'

- Newsweek

'Amis is a clever, skillful writer.'

- San Francisco Chronicle

'Amis throws off more provocative ideas and images in a single paragraph than most writers get into complete novels.'

- Seattle Times

'[Amis's] language is demonically alive.'

- The New York Times Book Review

'Mr. Amis has reached such a level of superstardom that his author's bio can understate: 'Martin Amis lives in London.''

- Washington Times


Martin Amis's books include Money, Dead Babies, The Rachel Papers,

The Moronic Inferno, Einstein's Monsters, London Fields, Time's Arrow,

and Visiting Mrs. Nabokov. He lives in London.


Vintage International

Vintage Books

A Division of Random House, Inc. New York

To Louis and jacob

and to the memory of

lucy partington



Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It's nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that… Swing low in your weep ship, with your tear scans and your sob probes, and you would mark them. Women-and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses-will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, 'What is it?' And the men say, 'Nothing. No it isn't anything really. Just sad dreams.'

Just sad dreams. Yeah: oh sure. Just sad dreams. Or something like that.

Richard Tull was crying in his sleep. The woman beside him, his wife, Gina, woke and turned. She moved up on him from behind and laid hands on his pale and straining shoulders. There was a professionalism in her blinks and frowns and whispers: like the person at the pool-side, trained in first aid; like the figure surging in on the blood-smeared macadam, a striding Christ of mouth-to-mouth. She was a woman. She knew so much more about tears than he did. She didn't know about Swift's juvenilia, or Wordsworth's senilia, or how Cressida had variously fared at the hands of Boccaccio, of Chaucer, of Robert Henryson, of Shakespeare; she didn't know Proust. But she knew tears. Gina had tears cold.

'What is it? 'she said.

Richard raised a bent arm to his brow. The sniff he gave was complicated, orchestral. And when he sighed you could hear the distant seagulls falling through his lungs.

'Nothing. It isn't anything. Just sad dreams.' Or something like that.

After a while she too sighed and turned over, away from him. There in the night their bed had the towelly smell of marriage.

He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed. Richard Tull felt tired, and not just under-slept. Local tiredness was up there above him-the kind of tiredness that sleep might lighten-but there was something else up there over and above it. And beneath it. That greater tiredness was not so local. It was the tiredness of time lived, with its days and days. It was the tiredness of gravity-gravity, which wants you down there in the center of the earth. That greater tiredness was here to stay: and get heavier. No nap or cuppa would ever lighten it. Richard couldn't remember crying in the night. Now his eyes were dry and open. He was in a terrible state-that of consciousness. Some while ago in his life

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