Rachel Papers

Rachel Papers

by Martin Amis


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In his uproarious first novel Martin Amis, author of the bestselling London Fields, gave us one of the most noxiously believable — and curiously touching — adolescents ever to sniffle and lust his way through the pages of contemporary fiction. On the brink of twenty, Charles High-way preps desultorily for Oxford, cheerfully loathes his father, and meticulously plots the seduction of a girl named Rachel — a girl who sorely tests the mettle of his cynicism when he finds himself falling in love with her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679734581
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/1992
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Vintage
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 511,832
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Martin Amis is the best-selling author of several books, including London Fields, Money, The Information, and, most recently, Experience. He lives in London.


Oxford, England

Date of Birth:

August 25, 1949

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

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Rachel Papers 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book! it was funny, and i found i could relate to certain aspects. i love these types of stories told through diaries. in my opinion charles highways quirks are hard not to enjoy reading about
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is crucial for anyone who is full of self-doubt, is self-obsessed & requires way too much self-indulgence. Full of neurotic humor and wicked English charm. Charles Highway is absolutely hilarious and a completely absorbing character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good story in the vein of Catcher in the Rye....just the British version.
milti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hmm...I actually liked the principal character, Charles, in the beginning, but by the end of the book I was thinking, "typical...boys!" Boys will always be boys, I guess.It's humourous, I GUESS, if you're prepared to laugh at everything that goes along with being 20. But it's sort of a cruel dig at how seriously a 20 year old takes his own self. It's twisted and crude, but if that's how you like it..hmm...oh yeah, and Charles turns out to be a selfish, shallow, hollow excuse for a human being. Yeah, he's just being his age, but I do agree with the poster who said he shouldn't have got the girl!
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I usually don't review books I don't finish. That's not fair. But I attempted this one twice, the second time on an airplane where I finally resorted to reading the inflight magazine instead. I kept waiting to find it hilarious and brilliant based on its reputation and even more so the reputation of its author, but it just never happened. At least not in the first half. The characters were all either loathsome or colorless. There was way too much on bodily fluids. This is a 19 year old, not a 12 year old. I kept trying to figure out a way it was symbolism or brilliant satire, because it certainly wasn't realism. But that must have gone over my head too. Overall it was more Benny Hill than Wodehouse, which is disorienting in a book marketed as being intellectual. Although there is definitely a breed of humor out there that high-end critics and award panels find bitingly brilliant and I always just find vulgar slapstick, so there you go -- this is one of those. When it wasn't annoying it was dull. But mostly it was annoying.
tinfoilspider on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok. Funny in parts. Very 70's!
AsYouKnow_Bob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hmmm. A bookish teenager trying to get into a posh university while being distracted by girls (specifically, by a girl slightly out of his league)? What's not to like?
Ronald_Beasley More than 1 year ago
'Believable' is the most accurate word Amazon uses to describe Martin Amis' first novel, and it is striking in the excess physical detail it reveals about the sexual and hygienic habits of teenagers, however disgusting. The story is cynical and sometimes rude, with punches pulled only when boredom weakens the protagonist, Charles Highway. Romantic this book is not, even though Charles is able to surpass his over-analysis of life and love long enough for his intuition to win him Rachel, the catch to end all catches. Amis' novel is the record of Charles' record of this affair, given to us in the twilight of his teens. Their relationship was always on the edge of a cliff, to Charles anyway, but they were able to love each other for as long as they could before that fatal flaw of teenagers set in: immaturity. Thus Amis, and really Charles too, prove themselves more capable of criticizing love than Shakespeare, proving also that trying to understand love with rationality is self-destructive, both for the relationship and its pathetic actors. I enjoyed reading Amis' (sorry, Charles') thought process more than the story itself, partially because Amis is a good writer but also because the story is older than writing itself. The plot cannot be vindicated, having followed countless similar stories of teenage love. Amis showed his potential as a writer, though, and has since become very successful and beloved in literary circles. That is the real benefit of this book. It might be better for you, the reader, to begin with one of his better-loved books, like Money: A Suicide Note (Penguin Ink) or London Fields, returning to his first book only if you're a big enough fan to want to follow his style down through the years. Otherwise, it's a quick, fairly enjoyable read, not disappointing but not as enlightening as Amis perhaps hoped it would be.
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