The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1994-2017

The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1994-2017

by Martin Amis

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As a journalist, critic, and novelist, Martin Amis has always turned his keen intellect and unrivaled prose loose on an astonishing range of topics—politics, sports, celebrity, America, and, of course, literature. Collected here is some of his best nonfiction work from over two decades. Amis writes about finally confronting the effects of aging on his athletic prowess. He revisits the worlds of Bellow and Nabokov, his “twin peaks,” masters who have obsessed and inspired him. And he turns his piercingly observant eye on Donald Trump, whom he finds “scowling out from under an omelette of makeup” in the run-up to the 2016 Republican Convention, and at a post-election rally, regarding his crowd of supporters with a “flat sneer of Ozymandian hauteur.”

Overflowing with startling and singular turns of phrase, and complete with new commentary by the author, The Rub of Time is a vital addition to any bookshelf, and the perfect primer for readers discovering Amis’s fierce talents for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525520252
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 711,650
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

MARTIN AMIS is the author of fourteen novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories, and six previous nonfiction books. He lives in Brooklyn.


Oxford, England

Date of Birth:

August 25, 1949

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

Table of Contents

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments

By Way of an Introduction
He’s Leaving Home

Twin Peaks
Vladimir Nabokov and the Problem from Hell
Saul Bellow, as Opposed to Henry James

Politics 1
The Republican Party in 2011: Iowa
The Republican Party in 2012: Tampa, Florida
The Republican Party in 2016: Trump

Literature 1
Philip Larkin: His Work and Life
Larkin’s Letters to Monica
Iris Murdoch: Age Will Win

The House of Windsor
Princess Diana: A Mirror, Not a Lamp
The Queen’s Speech, the Queen’s Heart

More Personal 1
You Ask the Questions 1
The Fourth Estate and the Puzzle of Heredity
On the Road: The Multicity Book Tour
The King’s English
Twin Peaks 2
Bellow’s Lettres
Nabokov’s Natural Selection

Americana (Stepping Westward)
Losing in Las Vegas
Travolta’s Second Act
In Pornoland: Pussies Are Bullshit

Literature 2
Don DeLillo: Laureate of Terror
J. G. Ballard: From Outer Space to Inner Space
Early Ballard: The Drowned World
The Shock of the New: A Clockwork Orange Turns Fifty

Three Stabs at Tennis
The Champions League Final, 1999
In Search of Dieguito Maradona
On the Court: My Beautiful Game

More Personal 2
Deciding to Write Time’s Arrow
Marty and Nick Jr. Sail to America
You Ask the Questions 2

Politics 2
Ivan Is Introduced to the USSR: All Together Now
Is Terrorism “About Religion”?
In Memory of Neda Soltan, 1983–2009: Iran
The Crippled Murderers of Cali, Colombia

Literature 3
Philip Roth Finds Himself
Roth the Elder: A Moralistic Investigation
John Updike’s Farewell Notes
Rabbit Angstrom Confronts Obamacare
Jane Austen and the Dream Factory  

More Personal 3
Christopher Hitchens

Politics 3
On Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition
President Trump Orates in Ohio

Twin Peaks 3
Bellow: Avoiding the Void
Véra and Vladimir: Letters to Véra

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