Martin Amis, Christopher Hitchens and the long road to reaction

Thomas Meaney in The New Statesman:

It would hardly have surprised Christopher Hitchens, his unsanguine views of the afterlife under no bushel, that among the trials and stations awaiting his departed soul there would be passage through a  Martin Amis novel (he had already endured being packed into The Pregnant Widow in the character of Nicholas Shackleton). Inside Story – the Fleet Street tease of the title notwithstanding – evinces a protective, even proprietary attitude towards the goods to be delivered. The cover features an arresting image of the two grands amis – both formerly of this parish – on the cusp of their prime. Hitchens is on the left, holding his cigarette mid-abdomen like a paintbrush. His as yet unravaged face seems to be gauging whether his last remark has landed with Amis, who looks into the distance, appearing simultaneously satisfied and anxious.

The novel, however, is more than a testament to a sacred bond. Inside Story whiplashes the reader between more decades (roughly from the start of Amis’s career in 1973 with The Rachel Papers, right up to the age of Trump) and more figures than his memoir Experience (perhaps Amis’s best book to date, and certainly his most finely structured).

More here.