The Rub of Time | Penguin Random House Canada

The Rub of Time

Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1994-2017

Publisher: Knopf Canada
The definitive collection of essays and reportage written during the past thirty years from one of most provocative and widely read writers--with new commentary by the author.

For more than thirty years, Martin Amis has turned his keen intellect and unrivaled prose loose on an astonishing range of topics--politics, sports, celebrity, America, and, of course, literature. Now, at last, these incomparable essays have been gathered together. Here is Amis at the 2011 GOP Iowa Caucus, where, squeezed between "windbreakers and woolly hats," he pores over The Ron Paul Family Cookbook and laments the absence of "our Banquo," Herman Cain. He writes about finally confronting the effects of aging on his athletic prowess. He revisits, time and time again, the worlds of Bellow and Nabokov, his "twin peaks," masters who have obsessed and inspired him. Brilliant, incisive, and savagely funny, The Rub of Time is a vital addition to any Amis fan's bookshelf, and the perfect primer for readers discovering his fierce and tremendous talents for the first time.


“Amis still has the confidence and talent to make thorough examinations of everything, from the United States and Trump straight through to the afflictions of age on the life of a writer. . . . [T]he famous Amis mind, calmly bristling in its certainty of judgment . . . is thoroughly intact. The Rub of Time is Amis’s evidence of what time does not just to talent, but to the judgment of talent. In the case of Amis’s non-fiction—rich in reading, deeply considered, geometrically reasoned and the stylistic equivalent of a shot of human adrenalin—time has been kind.” —Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail

“Martin Amis has a serious claim to being our greatest living writer.” —Calum Marsh, National Post

“Martin Amis’s fascination with English is what has made him one of the finest essayists in that language. . . . It is the resulting liveliness and virtuosity of his writing that makes every piece so charged.” —Alex Good, Toronto Star

Standing the test of time. Excellent essays run the gamut, from Travolta to Trump and Nabokov to 9/11. . . . [Amis] has produced some of his most moving and thought-provoking work in these formats. . . . He takes clear pleasure in not only illuminating the work of writers J.G. Ballard, Iris Murdoch, Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, among others, but also showing great generosity and fealty to them, careful to demonstrate precisely how their influences are woven through his own work.” —Doug McLean, Winnipeg Free Press

The Rub of Time is Amis at his considered best, witty, erudite and unafraid. . . . [E]very sentence snaps with an accuracy that is fresh and fierce. . . . [T]his collection is full of treasures. And, if you want a good scrap, if you want to feel like Martin Amis while fighting with Martin Amis (which is possibly how he also spends his day), a couple of these pieces will keep you going for a long time.” —The Guardian

“Amis’s literary criticism is richly enjoyable, his intellectual gifts are formidable and he is worthy of the praise he shovels upon Nabokov in his prime. . . . [Amis’s] nonfiction is bayonet-sharp. . . . The Rub of Time is impressive and important. The inner world of the old devil on display is one to be treasured.” —The Times

“Martin Amis’s non-fiction stretches the mind and the vocabulary of his readers. He is acutely perceptive. . . . The Rub of Time . . . is brilliant on politics, poker, people and places. Unmissable.” —Susan Hill, The Spectator (UK)