Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Heavy Water

(2000) Martin Amis

Maybe I've just been spoiled lately - by the likes of TC Boyle and Atwood and Neil Smith. Or maybe Amis and I just don't share a compatible sense of humour.

I got very little out of this collection. The title story, Heavy Water caught my attention. Bravo. And Janitor of Mars was somewhat intriguing but whatever wisdom went into these stories - I didn't catch it. Two stories are cheap simple inversions I wish I hadn't wasted my time with, two others I had to bail out of half way through and 'What Happened to Me on my Summer Vacation' is a literary train wreck. Unreadable.

If these are supposed to be highlights of his short-story career then yikes. Stick to novels please. What you do with the pen, the typewriter or keyboard is important but what you do with your mind and what it is you have to say to the world - is far more important. Unfortunately the only message I heard was, "Look how easy it is to be published when your dad's a famous writer."
I hope I'm being too critical. I hope there's all kinds of good stuff in there and I just missed most of it.


No comments: