Media Center: 'Lionel Asbo' by Martin Amis

Media Center: 'Lionel Asbo' by Martin Amis

Photo of the authorWHO: Martin Amis

LIONEL ASBO: State of England,
a novel

Published by Knopf August 21, 2012

WHERE: Author tour to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle

“Deliciously shivery, sly, and taunting…a fiendishly comedic and telling fable.

“Martin Amis’ phenomenal vim and versatility, anchoring roots in English literature, and gift for satire power this hilariously Dickensian, nerve-racking, crafty, bull’s-eye tale of a monster and a mensch.
“Lionel, a volatile and brutal thug much feared in his destitute Liverpool neighborhood, proudly changed his last name to Asbo, the English acronym for anti-social behavior order. Loyal to blood, Lionel has taken in his orphaned teenage nephew, Desmond. Gentle, smart, bookish, and half-black, Des nimbly if fearfully navigates Lionel’s wrath and ‘psychopathic’ pit bulls while anxiously harboring a potentially fatal family secret. While Lionel is in and out of prison, Des goes to college, becomes a journalist, and marries. Then Lionel wins the lottery and becomes the tabloids’ favorite target as he struggles to transform himself and burns through a huge sum of money with mad desperation.
“In a wicked twist on the rags-to-riches motif, Amis exults in mocking the cheap dreams of the lottery and the rapacious British press while affirming the toxic conflicts of class, race, and gender. Even more caustically diabolical is the way Amis toys with our trust in love.”
—Donna Seaman, in a starred review for BOOKLIST

“Crackling with brilliant prose and scathing satire.
“Amis adopts a big, playful storytelling voice in this book. He riffs like a jazz master, in and out of vernacular, with brief gusts of description, all driven by a tight bass line of suspense…Hilarious and strangely compelling—a gleefully twisted Great Expectations.”
—Jess Walter, in a featured boxed review for PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Photo of the jacket“Ridiculous, over the top,
and, yes, funny.”

—Pamela Mann, in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL

Media Resources:
About the book | Author bio | Download the jacket or the author photo

Kathy Zuckerman | 212-572-2105 |