I’m a quarter of the way through The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis and it is only now that I am beginning to get into it and enjoy it. It was reviewed a few years back by a book club discussion show and it received mixed reviews. The writing is witty and drips with sarcasm and satire and makes fun at the main character, Charles. In fact, Amis pokes so much fun at Charles that I had a lot of trouble caring about him. I didn’t like him, nor hate him, and in the world of characterisation, indifference towards a character is a writer’s worse nightmare. I also have issues with the intense misogynistic comments and attitude. They are never really funny when they are trying to be and it is difficult to distinguish who exactly is making these comments – Charles or Amis himself.
This is my first Amis book and the name is practically royalty in the world of literature so I think I’m going to presevere. It’s just starting to pick up and Charles might have some redeeming and interesting features in him after all (or it could be Amis).