10 Essential Martin Amis Cultural Essays

When Martin Amis spoke to GQ about his 60th birthday, he seemed defeated, noting: “It all ends in dissolution and chaos and indignity and tears.” We can only imagine what he’s thinking today, with the passing of another birthday. While the British novelist ponders mortality with cranky resignation, we’ve gathered a few of Amis’ must-read cultural reviews and essays on literature, art, film, porn, and politics.


Amis on Steven Spielberg

“His line to the common heart is so direct that he unmans you with the frailty of your own defences, and the transparency of your most intimate fears and hopes.”

This 1983 essay reveals that Amis was absolutely “bewildered” over Spielberg’s E.T. He even admits to shedding a few tears. Amis describes the director as a “genius” and appreciates his uncynical approach to storytelling. Opposites really do attract.