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Lionel Asbo: State of England pdf Lionel Asbo: State of England, ebook Lionel Asbo: State of England, epub Lionel Asbo: State of England, doc Lionel Asbo: State of England, e-pub Lionel Asbo: State of England, Lionel Asbo: State of England 72a65523dff Lionel Asbo A Very Violent But Not Very Successful Young Criminal Is Going About His Morning Duties In A London Prison When He Learns That He Has Just Won ,, On The National Lottery This Is Not Necessarily Good News For His Ward And Nephew, The Orphaned Des Pepperdine, Who Still Has Reason To Fear His Uncle S Implacable VengeanceSavage, Funny, And Mysteriously Poignant, Lionel Asbo Is A Modern Fairytale From One Of The World S Great Writers


10 thoughts on “Lionel Asbo: State of England

  1. says:

    This book made me such a nervous wreck that I developed a facial tic and had to take antacids while I was reading it.Desmond Pepperdine is a 15 year old lad living in a very rough part of England where life expectancies are short and violence is common Des is a bright and gentle boy with a big secret His 39 year old grandmother Grace has seduced him, and Des is worried that his uncle Lionel will find out.Lionel took Des in after his mother died a few years earlier Des loves Uncle Li , but he s also terrified of him He should be Lionel is the kind of guy who laces his pit bulls food with Tabasco to make them meaner, and he took such pride in being the youngest person to ever receive an Anti Social Behavior Order after a violent spree at age 3 that he had his name legally changed to Asbo He ll put a man in the hospital over some perceived grievance and then complain when his victim has the nerve to file a complaint with the police.As a career criminal specializing in loan shark collection and reselling stolen goods, Lionel is constantly in and out of jail Lionel also has a strict policy that his mom is too old to be dating men, and he doesn t like it when he hears from a neighbor that Grace has been seeing someone Des keeps his mouth shut as Lionel finds another young man to blame and forces Des to help him get his revenge.Years pass as Des lives with his secrets and tries to establish a quiet normal life by going to college and getting a girlfriend He still lives with Lionel but with him always in jail, Des usually has the place to himself However, after Lionel wins a small fortune in the lottery, he becomes a tabloid sensation Unfortunately, becoming wealthy does nothing to make Lionel Asbo a better person, and dealing with his whims and moods becomes an even worse minefield for Des.The odd thing is that Lionel doesn t seem quite as monstrous as he should Amis does a nice job of depicting the affection that Des has for his uncle even as he has absolutely no illusions as to what Lionel is With Des s secret about Grace and Lionel s skewed logic regarding right and wrong, every conversation between the two has an underlying tension that really got to me after a while And the ending nearly killed me view spoiler I wasn t sure whether I was relieved or angry about the plot twist when it turned out the baby was safe after the extended wringer Amis put us through to learn the final outcome hide spoiler


  2. says:

    In 1998, British Government under Tony Blair introduced the Anti Social Behaviour Order ASBO an act which meant to correct minor incidents which would normally not result in criminal punishment from loudswearing, loitering and beging to public sex and even urban exploration During the general elections of 2010, future Prime Minister David Cameron promixed to fix Broken Britain , and after taking office spoke eloquently but harshly about what he perceived to be failure of multiculturalism can you imagine the American president doing the same In July 2011, a high selling tabloid The News of The World has been shut down and its staff took under investigation for allegedly illegal obtainment of information including hacking into the phones of familes of British soldiers killed in action In August of the same year riots shook the city of London, engulfing the metropolis in violence and chaos photographs of burning double decked red buses remain a haunting image In 2012 Martin Amis left London for Brooklyn and published his latest novel, Lionel Asbo The State of England He dedicated the novel to Christopher Hitchens, who was a close friend curiously it is the second novel dedicated to Hitchens that I ve read in a row the previous one being Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, which I revieved here.Some critics and readers felt that publishing a satirical and critical novel about the State of The Nation and then escaping from the mentioned nation was a real dick move, a betrayal of the country that bred and fed not only him but also Darwin, Dickens and Churchill and holds the world record for the largest empire Amis has been criticized for exploiting the theme of the underclass from high horse, and running away across the pond much like a boy who has just done some mischief hides from his enraged mum There might be truth to that who am I to judge but I think that the author has reached the level where he doesn t pay attention to the critics who grieve that his latest novel is not the same as the novel that they most enjoyed he just kick backs and writes what he wants to write.The fact is visible in Lionel Asbo, where is is evident that Amis is in many ways, as my English friends would say it, taking the piss The novel has two main characters Lionel Asbo, who is a Chav Proper and deals with extortion along with other shady matters, and is genuinely proud of his achievements almost complete lack of education and the record for being the youngest person ever to be given a Restraining Directive an ASBO, at the tender age of three His pride is such that he officially changed his name to Asbo from Pepperdine because it was a crap name anyhow and speaks of the time he spent in prison with tenderness, as someone could speak about college or graduate school He ends up in prison most of the time, but does not mind a man knows where he is when he is in prison and has two pitbulls, whom he feeds steaks bathed in tabasco sauce to make them feel the combatative mood, as they are the tools of his trade The original UK edition, published by Jonathan Cape, has this convincing illustration of him on the cover Contrasted with him is Des Pepperdine, his younger nephew in 2006, when the novel opens Des 15 and a half and Lionel is 21 who is under his uncle s care, as his mother has died Des has never known his father once, when he is a boy and walks with his mother she spots him sitting on a bench, but he appears to be dead so they go away and is a quiet boy whom Lionel tries to educate about the way of life in Diston, a fictional borough of London where nobody lives past 60 and 40 is considered old age Lionel educates Des about the merits of benefit scrounging and how to not fall of the dole, how to feed the dogs to make them agressive enough and of the necessity of carrying a knife, and wonders why Des enjoys going to school instead of breaking a window like any normal boy What Lionel does not know that Des is having an affair with his grandmother who gave birth to his own mother when she was just 12, and birthed seven children in total and deadly afraid of what his uncle will do if he finds out So much, that he decides to stage a character and write to the local columnist about it and ask for advice and then Lionel wins 140 million pounds in the lotteryAmis certainly has his fun with both Lionel and Des and other characters whose names are a hoot , but his portrayal of them did not feel exploitative I would say quite the opposite he portrays Lionel with tenderness that he never gave him in his fictional world Lionel Asbo in his own way does the right thing he takes his young nephew under his wing and cares for him the only way he knows how his reputation protects him from bullies, and provides for his well being In a place where everything hated everything , Lionel Asbo is what he is a baby Asbo, someone born in a sequence of someones who will grow up and die and often never experience everything else He is a patriot, woving never to leave England well, maybe with a small exception for a trip to Scotland or Wales and understandably so the environment is deeply rooted in him as he is in it Although he is presented with a literal miracle an impossible amount of money almost literally falling from the sky it does not prove to be the way out if anything, it can only turn into a tragedy Although the novel is very funny and outlandish in many places it is after all a satire, a fairy tale which is purposefully larger than life it is also surprisingly poignant and touching As Lionel becomes the source of media attention which justifies the US cover by Knopf, which is stylized to resemble a tabloid the novel does not lose its satirical punch but grows and serious, with an inevitable air of tragedy hanging in the air I will not reveal whether it occurs, or whether any of the characters achieve any sort of solace, as this would be spoiling a novel which I found to be surprisingly good in spite of all the negative reviews After putting it down In England and abroad , many readers will look around themselves, asking the question with which Amis opens his book and which resonates throughout it in many ways Who let the dogs in Dave Henson also has also some great songs about football or soccer, if you prefer I heartily recommend At Least We re Not As Bad As France, The Vuvuzela Song, Evaluate The Last Four and others on his channel


  3. says:

    Lionel Asbo is a bad thief He spends long stretches in jail He s in and he s out, a recidivist Lionel s nephew, Desmond, is at fifteen years of age seduced by his grandmother, Grace, thirty nine It is Des s guilt about this incestuous relationship, and his fear of what Uncle Li lie not lee might do if he finds out, that shapes Des s character in early adulthood, which is pretty much the span of the novel Fortunately, Gran breaks off the affair with Des in order to seduce a fourteen year old Right, a younger man This fellow goes by the name of Rory Nightingale and Lionel does discover his affair with Gran Of course, Des is both crushed and relieved to hear the news Then Lionel wins a 140 million state lottery, providing much needed distraction for poor Des But then Des and his new love, Dawn, have a marvelously described baby Cilla Fantastic description of this baby and much else which serves only to redouble his anxiety Martin Amis writes with all the skill and assurance we re accustomed to from so many other fine books, but his style here is as compressed as I ve ever seen it There are many beautifully compressed pages in Amis Night Train, to cite just one example, springs most readily to mind Amis has always been a great admirer of Vladimir Nabokov, but I think this is the first time he s written a book that echoes that master s peculiarly arch, lean, and very compressed method so well I speak here merely in terms of narrative compression, mind you, not style Amis style is unique As in the unjustly maligned Yellow Dog and to a limited extent in London Fields, he has a field day with British dialect and slang He s a master of it, of that there s no question However, his penchant dialect and slang can really slow down the non British reader Agreed, not every book should go down like Simenon, but having to Google a few references every page can be a drag Now, do most people read as closely as I do Nah But I do If we are to view the novel as dream, these unquestionably enriching quirks of Amis s, it can be argued, slow the dream down, inhibit it It s too bad, especially in a book that is in every other respect so sprightly, so headlong and fun I don t fault Amis He can only write what he can write However, my own favorite Amis novels have much less such encryption Money, The Zone of Interest, The Information, House of Meetings and London Fields Highly recommended.


  4. says:

    Amis can write the darkest satire with a lyrical heart that beats with warm, soft blood Lionel ASBO is sad, funny, gratuitous, sick and full of life It is like a Dickens novel was written by William Burroughs Covered in grit, the characters in this Amis novel seem at first like bizarre 21st century, Cruikshank caricatures that just keep bouncing back and forth in my head between the real, the surreal and the unreal so I keep on doubting my own palsied view of the world Anywho, this novel seems like a better adjusted, less disquieting version of Amis magnum opusMoney Lionel ASBO has heart, and just slightly less art Amis traded a little of the floating world for the heavy Just please J zus don t buy it for Grans.


  5. says:

    My favorite Martin Amis novel since The Information Lionel Asbo is the Martin Amis of London Fields and Money dazzling prose, vicious animals, demented, ugly people, violence, and of course, a filthy, harrowing London juxtaposed to a glittering, money s no object London Surprisingly, though, there is a beautiful flip side to Amis trademark hilarity and disgust, found in the character of Desmond, a thoughtful teenage boy who longs for peace, knowledge, and love and who is having an affair with his grandmother, Grace revealed on page one, so not a spoiler I m a huge fan of Martin Amis, and his last three works of fiction left me a bit confused Yellow Dog was funny but seemed cartoonish and trying too hard House of Meetings was tremendous, but a somber historical novel about life in the slave camps of the USSR, and The Pregnant Widow, while wise and thoughtful and occasionally funny, didn t quite pack the punch that I ve grown to love in Amis earlier work.So yeah, as a longtime admirer of Martin Amis, I d say he s fully back in the satirical, sickening swing of things And the prose has never been sharper A sample All day, all night what was the difference , eyes open, eyes shut what was the difference , Des attended the cinema of the insane In beady pulses and thudding flashes he rehearsed what he supposed were essentially vulpine themes and arguments to do with anxiety, hunger, and shelterlessness, refracted through an urban setting of asphalt and metal, or rubber and cellophane and shattered plexiglas It was the longest motion picture of all time and his attention never strayed The definition was as sharp as a serpent s tooth The lighting was indecently and lawlessly lurid The dialogue sometimes dubbed and the voiceover and the occasional subtitles were all in the language of Grace Final thoughts a smart, profane, funny, and even loving novel that I thoroughly enjoyed It may not be as ruthless and riotous as his earlier work, but I like the direction he s heading in.


  6. says:

    well, I am going to take issue with most of the reviewers, who are disappointed in this book The Guardian, of course, loathes it, and Amis, but then they always have, because he and his writing reject their easy, and stupid, certainties But I in my turn was disappointed with UK reviewers, who use phrases like satirical sideswipe at the underclass , and one says that the class of people portrayed is so easy to send up that Amis is shooting fish in a barrel None of them have understood this book As far as I can tell only Dickens has been able to do what Amis has done here, which is create characters from what might be called the underclass, but certainly is a criminal subset of class, to which he does not belong, and make them human I wept for Lionel The characters, especially the eponymous Lionel, are the opposite of caricature They are human There are several nods to Dickens here, including calling the school Squeers Free Of course, the background that the dead tree press reviewers in the UK have is, well, Posher Than Mine I don t think they ve met anyone who talks like Lionel does And Amis has got certain rhythms of white London speech, The words roll and tumble over you London has a white van sky Of course it all goes too far That is what has always been so splendid about Amis The good characters Desmond and Dawn as in Dickens, are ciphers But Desmond, at the start of the book, is having sex with his own grandmother Dickens never went that far But think about it he went a long way towards it.Pitbulls, of course there are pitbulls I have never read anything about pitbulls other than in the pages of a tabloid newspaper I read a certain bit, towards the end of the book, on the tram on the way home today and was gibbering with terror No spoilers from me though.Mostly, I laughed Out loud, and often And I won t forget Lionel This book may not describe to us the state of England, as it front cover would have us believe it does, but it tells us a lot about England.One from the reviewers, this one David Annand in the Telegraph Longstanding Amis admirers are, I think, slightly perplexed at the odd duality of his late work There you are Posh and meaningless at the same time.


  7. says:

    One year ago the London Riots left Tottenham essentially a smoldering crime scene and the first match of the Premier League at White Heart Lane was postponed via the police investigation The motivations and manifestations of the yob and his deeds lie at the core of Lionel Asbo The credit crunch and News Corp also find their faces bashed in Amis s acerbic romp I found the novel something I wished to protect, something to shield from our reptile natures and our cannibalistic rituals of convenience and efficiency Amis makes us ache and chortle He reminds us of our misery and gives it song.


  8. says:

    Bear with me In 1976, Bob Dylan released Desire in 1997, he released Time Out of Mind In the twenty one years between these records, he released a plethora of disappointingly mediocre and, in some cases, downright bad albums Have you ever heard Down in the Groove Case in point.But in 1997, Dylan experienced a renaissance Time Out of Mind was a first rate album, and Dylan, who s inarguably one of the most important American musicians of the twentieth and twenty first centuries, hasn t looked back since Since 1997, the man s been on a creative roll.Dylan s roll brings me to Martin Amis In 1995, Amis published The Information in 2012, he published Lionel Asbo State of England After finishing Lionel Asbo, I can safely argue that Amis hasn t pulled a Dylan He hasn t written a great novel since The Information, and Lionel Asbo most definitely doesn t equal renaissance.So why has Amis gone from being one of the greatest English novelists of his generation to one of the most disappointing Why hasn t he lived up the potential for greatness that he first showed in 1984, when the opening scene of Money read like nothing that had ever been written before As a reader of sixteen Amis books, I think that I m qualified to propose an answer to the Amis enigma Amis is a satirist, and at the heart of his greatest novels Money, London Fields, and The Information , lies a brutally thrilling combination of high energy prose, black comedy, postmodern innovation, social satire, and a penchant for good ole plot and character.Let s take these in order.1 High energy prose Whereas in the past, Amis made sure that each sentence crackled with rawness and surprise, now at least half his novels with boring sentences that serve as exposition or poor character description Yikes This means that the high energy stuff, which is still occasionally there, reminds the reader that the rest of the sentences kind of suck.2 Black comedy Amis can still be funny, but now he s spotty The funniest parts of Lionel Asbo read as riffs that Amis inserted to add life to his text But these parts I repeat are simply riffs and nothing They don t help advance the satire he had the same problem in Yellow Dog and The Pregnant Widow And, if the whole truth were to be told, the riffs in Lionel Asbo just aren t that funny they re funny in comparison to the boring rest of the book.3 Postmodern innovation Amis, rather famously, looked to America and underground British literature for his inspiration Some of his main heroes Roth, Ballard, Nabokov, etc practiced metafiction In Money, London Fields, and The Information, Amis made some advances in this area The black comedy, therefore, existed in an innovative context Amis could get as dark with his comedy as he pleased while maintaining the reader s interest in his structures In Lionel Asbo, on the other hand, Amis attempts at metafiction fall flat Instead of creating as he did in his great novels he s parodying other fictions Great Expectations, in particular, and also the English tabloids Which brings us to social satire .4 Social satire It s extremely difficult to be innovative and interesting as a social satirist when an author has run out of ideas Amis is totally out of gas in Lionel Asbo, the characters of which read like simulacra of the characters in London Fields and Money What I mean is that Amis is satirizing the same stuff that he went after in the 1980s Lionel Asbo, therefore, has nothing new to say Amis simply uses the techniques of Money and London Fields, which have declined from metafictional innovation to parody, and adds references to current events One word Yikes 5 Plot and character I ve already gone over why the characters in Lionel Asbo don t work Now let me turn to the novel s plot, which is one of the most predictable plots that I ve ever read by a major novelist The plot feels like an afterthought a hook onto which Amis could hang his riffs and, for the most part, boring ass sentences.Now I know that it s unfair of me to give such a scathing review without providing textual evidence So consider this review a tease If you once believed in Amis as much as I did and held his work in as high esteem as I did, read this book and see if I m right I tease you to do so.But I still have faith in Amis for some reason that I don t understand I ll definitely read his next book I did purchase a lot of crappy Dylan albums before I got Time Out of Mind


  9. says:

    I had put this off because 2010 s The Pregnant Widow had felt like such a letdown, but I needn t have worried All the usual Amis ingredients come back are present with this one, if not quite with the density of laughs or verbal virtuosity I felt Mart attained in the for me Trinity or Pleiades of Money, London Fields, and The Information all three of which I shall re read until I cease to be What s the plotting is kinda clever here, and dare I say it Mr Amis seems to be writing from a place of, yes, compassion and wisdom along with the jaundice and bile.The novelist and critic David Lodge once wrote a series of articles in the Times about novel writing that was subsequently compiled into the excellent volume The Art of Fiction Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts What Lodge had to say in that book about Amis s treatment of L.A in Money certainly also applies to his vision of and conjuring of lumpenproletariat and kleptocrat London in this one Martin Amis is a late exponent of the Dickensian tradition of urban Gothic His fascinated and appalled gaze at the postindustrial city mediates an apocalyptic vision of culture and society in a terminal state of decay As with Dickens, his settings often seem animated than his characters, as if the life has been drained out of people to re emerge in a demonic, destructive form in things streets, machines, gadgets The challenge of the novel s chosen form is to make the style both eloquently descriptive of the urban wasteland and expressive of the narrator s slobbish, tunnel visioned, philistine character Amis manages this difficult trick by disguising his literary skills behind a barrage of streetwise slang, profanity, obscenities and jokes Thing is, in this novel, Amis pleasantly surprised this reader by combining all of the above, with a real tenderness towards a few of his fully realized characters I now publicly forgive him for that stupid row with Terry Eagleton some years back 4.5


  10. says:

    If your experience of 21st century culture includes a lot of reality television, tabloid scandal, celebrity expos , paparazzi photos atrocious lapses that center on race, sport, wardrobe, sex, cosmetic surgery, drunk driving, pit bulls, lavish overspending anything crassly vulgar and exploitative you probably still won t like this novel, but you ll get a lot of what you like along the way And Martin Amis doesn t want you to like it he wants it to stand as an aggressive, warts plus documentary of our hyperbolic times Which I suppose it does, but it makes for an annoyingly obvious kind of read If you have to stand up and point at the Donald Trump Sarah Palin Jerry Springer sort of pop vulgarism, and announce that you think it s in really poor taste, dangerous, even maybe you re not breaking new ground Maybe you re stating the obvious In the lurid, over the top fashion that it deserves, perhaps, but who really wants to immerse themselves in this embarrassing material That there is a subset of consumers who do immerse themselves in this kind of thing is sad, and I would expect that the participants in this business aren t feeling very honorable about it But beyond the initial trainwreck shock factor, the grand guignol distastefulness of it all, why, Martin Amis, would you want to spend time analyzing it Not me Dumpster.


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