The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

by Martin Amis

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War against Cliche: Essays and Reviews, 1971-2000 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
jharlton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amis's reactions are so fun to read, largely because of his brilliant humour. One thing he does better than anyone I have read is control his tone. People this smart tend to show off their intellectual abilities, especially when making fun, but Amis has tact and a good sense for subtlety. He never runs his mouth for no good reason, but when he does have reason what he writes can leave you feeling glad he is not criticising your work. His ability to write about everything, and people who think they can write about everything, makes this such an enjoyable collection. "War Against Cliche" is full of wonderful observations and I am constantly in awe of Amis's ability to cohere the fragments and come up with an argument where others, such as myself, would be left groping for something vague. This collection asks us not only what is literature? but what is literary criticism? and in doing so makes a defense of wit and talent.
Mikalina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the essay about the democratization of the art of literary criticism most interesting. Amis points out that since no objective standards of writing seems to hold water; criticism is reduced to subjective like & not- like; Anyone can join the choir on the same terms, whether they have learnt their score or not. Since he himself does not use the occasion to broadcast an (academic) opinion on this theme, I can only surmise that a) he has not solved the puzzlement of literary standard himself despite living off literary criticism as a professional or b) he has not the guts to go against the tide of what is political correct. Both alternatives leaves the literary criticism he presents in the book on different works slightly less interesting..... The most valuable about this book is that the folly of value relativism - or should I say - human vanity - is put to discussion. We need to know what is good from what is bad, to keep on being human.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Publishers snippets and reviewers praise will only illuminate you so far to this book's essential usefulness. It brings joy and it teaches. Compile a new list of books to read every ten pages or so. Write your own novel later.
Scobie More than 1 year ago
Caustic, humorous and eclectic. A good book to thumb through.