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.


“Generously literary and deliciously gossipy. . . . [Amis] has the born essayist’s ability to wrap feelings around facts and write in direct prose, without condescension, treating the reader as a friend who happens to be in the room. We can learn a great deal about a chosen topic when we read him, but we also learn something about the author—about his life as a novelist, about his attitude to children, about his friends and enemies and of course about his father, the brilliant comic novelist Kingsley Amis.” —National Post

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)

“[T]he best [bits] are essential: euphonious, penetrating and very funny. . . . You’d better get it.” —Thomas W. Hodgkinson, The Spectator (UK)