State of England
An exuberant, acidic satire of modern society and celebrity culture--by a renowned author at the height of his powers.
Young Desmond Pepperdine desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love. Unfortunately for him, he's the ward of his uncle, Lionel Asbo (self-named after England's notorious Anti-Social Behaviour Orders), a terrifying yet oddly principled thug who's determined to teach him the joys of pitbulls (fed with lots of Tabasco sauce), internet porn ("me love life") and all manner of more serious criminality. But just as Desmond begins to lead a gentler life, the despicable Lionel wins £140 million in the lottery and his problems as well as Desmond's seem only to multiply.
"[Amis] reads like a university don telling dirty jokes to astonish the groundlings while never letting them forget how well he knows his Milton."
—The Wall Street Journal
"[Lionel Asbo is] tender, almost earnest, in its emotions.... A ripper of a story, in the Dickens mode. There is even a happy ending."
—Charles Foran, The Globe and Mail
"Savagely funny.... Crackling with brilliant prose and scathing style, this novel plays like a gleefully twisted Great Expectations. Trust us, you don't want to miss this playful and suspenseful book--it's Amis at his best."
"An acidic satire on contemporary England by one of that country's most controversial and caustic wits."
"With crisp insights, rollicking storytelling and acrobatic wit, Amis has created a peppery, topsy-turvy Pygmalion fable and hilarious dismantlement of our cherished rags-to-riches fantasy."
—The Kansas City Star