is a black comic novel
murder mystery by British writer Martin Amis
, published in 1989. Regarded by Amis's readership as possibly his strongest novel, the tone gradually shifts from high comedy, interspersed with deep personal introspections, to a dark sense of foreboding and eventually panic at the approach of the deadline, or "horrorday," the climactic scene alluded to on the very first page.
The story is narrated by Samson Young, an American writer living in London who has had writer's block for 20 years and is now terminally ill. The other main characters are Guy Clinch, the foil; Keith Talent, the cheat; and Nicola Six, the murderee, who knows she will be murdered a few minutes after midnight on 5 November 1999—her 35th birthday—and who goes off in search of her killer.
is set in London in 1999 against a backdrop of environmental, social and moral degradation and the looming threat of world instability and nuclear war
(referred to as "The Crisis"). The novel opens with Samson explaining how grateful he is to have found this story, already formed, already happening, waiting to be written down.
<blockquote>This is the story of a murder. It hasn't happened yet. But it will. (It had better.) I know the murderer, I know the murderee. I know the time, I know the place. I know the motive (her
motive) and I... Read More