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2 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Yellow Dog

by

Yellow Dog Cover

 

 

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

1. Renaissance Man

But I go to Hollywood but I go to hospital, but you are first but you are last, but he is tall but she is small, but you stay up but you go down, but we are rich but we are poor, but they find peace but they find . . .

Xan Meo went to Hollywood. And, minutes later, with urgent speed, and accompanied by choric howls of electrified distress, Xan Meo went to hospital. Male violence did it.

'I'm off out, me,' he told his American wife Russia.

'Ooh,' she said, pronouncing it like the French for where.

'Won't be long. I'll bath them. And I'll read to them too. Then I'll make dinner. Then I'll load the dishwasher. Then I'll give you a long backrub. Okay?'

'Can I come?' said Russia.

'I sort of wanted to be alone.'

'You mean you sort of wanted to be alone with your girl-friend.

' Xan knew that this was not a serious accusation. But he adopted an ill-used expression (a thickening of the forehead), and said, not for the first time, and truthfully so far as he knew, 'I've got no secrets from you, kid.'

'. . . Mm,' she said, and offered him her cheek.

'Don't you know the date?'

'Oh. Of course.'

The couple stood embracing in a high-ceilinged hallway. Now the husband with a movement of the arm caused his keys to sound in their pocket. His half-conscious intention was to signal an ?.impatience to be out. Xan would not publicly agree, but women naturally like to prolong routine departures. It is the obverse of their fondness for keeping people waiting. Men shouldn't mind this. Being kept waiting is a moderate reparation for their five million years in power . . . Now Xan sighed softly as the stairs above him softly creaked. A complex figure was descending, normal up to the waist, but two-headed and four-armed: Meo's baby daughter, Sophie, cleaving to the side of her Brazilian nanny, Imaculada. Behind them, at a distance both dreamy and self-sufficient, loomed the four-year-old: Billie.

Russia took the baby and said, 'Would you like a lovely yoghurt for your tea?'

'No!' said the baby.

'Would you like a bath with all your floaty toys?'

'No!' said the baby, and yawned: the first lower teeth like twin grains of rice.

'Billie. Do the monkeys for Daddy.'

'There were too many monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell down and broke his head. They took him to the doctor and the doctor said: No more monkeys jumping on the BED.'

Xan Meo gave his elder daughter due praise.

'Daddy'll read to you when he comes back,' said Russia.

'I was reading to her earlier,' he said. He had the front door open now. 'She made me read the same book five times.'

'Which book?'

'Which book? Christ. The one about those stupid chickens who think the sky is falling. Cocky Locky. Goosey Lucy. And they all copped it from the fox, didn't they, Billie.'

'Like the frogs,' said the girl, alluding to some other tale. 'The whole family died. The mummy. The daddy. The nanny. And all the trildren.'

'I'm off out.' He kissed Sophie 's head (a faint circus smell); she responded by skidding a wet thumb across her cheek and into her mouth. And then he crouched to kiss Billie.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400077274
Author:
Amis, Martin
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
London (england)
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
20050131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.06x5.22x.73 in. .55 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Yellow Dog Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400077274 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "[T]he prose is brilliant and often hilarious, and the insights into contemporary culture are disturbingly prescient....But the book's many successes cannot hide its...overly complex and needlessly opaque narrative structure." Publishers Weekly
"Review A Day" by , "To give Yellow Dog its due, however, it's often witty, fun, and funny ('For the time being she looked like a thrillingly ardent woodland creature in an animated cartoon'), and Amis is still one of the best dialogue-writers around ('Seafood is bullshit. I want meat.'). Yellow Dog contains plenty of amusing sentences, but it does not contain, I fear, that one thing that made Money and London Fields the august and classic novels they are: truth." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "[Y]our first reaction on reading a novel as mind-tinglingly good as Yellow Dog is not so much admiration as a kind of grateful despair. Mostly this is because, like all great writers, he seems to have guessed what you thought about the world, and then expressed it far better than you ever could."
"Review" by , "Yellow Dog may not be the deepest, most Booker-worthy novel Amis ever wrote, but it's such nasty, inventive, satisfying fun that his critics will be panting with envy."
"Review" by , "The narrative stream is thick...and...kind of loud, like the ramblings of an extremely entertaining if rather boozy raconteur in a noisy pub....Raucous, confusing, hilarious, and...furiously intelligent and touching."
"Review" by , "A sloppy, maddening, hilarious, and oddly touching amalgam of Evelyn Waugh and John Waters, Amis' wicked burlesque evinces his disgust with the herd mentality and a surprisingly tender regard for women."
"Review" by , "That all of these disparate plots connect in an intelligent and hilarious fashion is to Amis's credit, but readers might also be distracted by the persistent misogyny, which...leaves an unsettling cloud over the work. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "[R]eads like a sendup of a Martin Amis novel....Mr. Amis's celebrated love of language wilts in these pages into silly and mindless wordplay, while his mastery of postmodern pyrotechnics withers into an excuse for lazy craftsmanship..."
"Review" by , "Martin Amis at his best, in all his shifting registers, his drolleries and ferocities, his unsparing comic drive, his aesthetic dawdlings and beguilements, his wry, confident relish of his own astonishing effects."
"Review" by , "Yellow Dog shows [Amis] to be once again operating his craft at the level of his 1980s work, Money and London Fields....It is also marked by a gathering ferocity, a desire to genuinely disturb, that feels new."
"Review" by , "Viciously funny...zingingly vivid."
"Review" by , "Martin Amis [has] come back kicking and screaming."
"Synopsis" by , From the man the New York Times calls "the best American writer England has ever produced" comes a brilliant and unsettling novel of sex, royalty, and violence.
"Synopsis" by , In his highly anticipated first novel in seven years, the man the "New York Times" calls "the best American writer England has ever produced" delivers a brilliant and unsettling novel of sex, royalty, and violence.

"Synopsis" by , Brilliant, painful, dazzling, and funny as hell, Yellow Dog is Martin Amis highly anticipated first novel in seven years and a stunning return to the fictional form.

When “dream husband” Xan Meo is vengefully assaulted in the garden of a London pub, he suffers head injury, and personality change. Like a spiritual convert, the familial paragon becomes an anti-husband, an anti-father. He submits to an alien moral system — one among many to be found in these pages. We are introduced to the inverted worlds of the “yellow” journalist, Clint Smoker; the high priest of hardmen, Joseph Andrews; and the porno tycoon, Cora Susan. Meanwhile, we explore the entanglements of Henry England: his incapacitated wife, Pamela; his Chinese mistress, He Zhezun; his fifteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, the victim of a filmed “intrusion” that rivets the world — because she is the future Queen of England, and her father, Henry IX, is its King. The connections between these characters provide the pattern and drive of Yellow Dog.

If, in the 21st century, the moral reality is changing, then the novel is changing too, whether it likes it or not. Yellow Dog is a model of how the novel, or more particularly the comic novel, can respond to this transformation.

But Martin Amis is also concerned here with what is changeless and perhaps unchangeable. Patriarchy, and the entire edifice of masculinity; the enormous category-error of violence, arising between man and man; the tortuous alliances between men and women; and the vanished dream (probably always an illusion, but now a clear delusion) that we can protect our future and our progeny.

Meo heard no footsteps; what he heard was the swish, the shingly soft-shoe of the hefted sap. Then the sharp two-finger prod on his shoulder. It wasnt meant to happen like this. They expected him to turn and he didnt turn — he half-turned, then veered and ducked. So the blow intended merely to break his cheekbone or his jawbone was instead received by the cranium, that spacey bulge (in this instance still quite marriageably forested) where so many delicate and important powers are so trustingly encased.

He crashed, he crunched to his knees, in obliterating defeat. . . . -- from Yellow Dog

From the Hardcover edition.

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