A savage, funny, and mysteriously poignant saga by a renowned author at the height of his powers.
Lionel Asbo, a terrifying yet weirdly loyal thug (self-named after England's notorious Anti-Social Behaviour Order), has always looked out for his ward and nephew, the orphaned Desmond Pepperdine. He provides him with fatherly career advice (always carry a knife, for example) and is determined they should share the joys of pit bulls (fed with lots of Tabasco sauce), Internet porn, and all manner of more serious criminality. Des, on the other hand, desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love (and to protect a family secret that could be the death of him). But just as he begins to lead a gentler, healthier life, his uncle—once again in a London prison—wins £140 million in the lottery and upon his release hires a public relations firm and begins dating a cannily ambitious topless model and “poet.” Strangely, however, Lionel's true nature remains uncompromised while his problems, and therefore also Desmond's, seem only to multiply.
About Martin AmisSee more books from this Author
The book isn’t ambitious or persuasive enough, however, to earn such a subtitle. It reads less like a big “state of England” novel than a smallish postcard mailed from there some years ago.Read Full Review of Lionel Asbo: State of England | See more reviews from NY Times
In Lionel Asbo, the characters tailor their behavior to match the vulgarity of their papers. It's a trend that one feels Amis minds — but not too much. It gives him so many wonderful monsters to play with.Read Full Review of Lionel Asbo: State of England | See more reviews from NPR
Lionel Asbo is another finely crafted novel and in many respects indicative of Mr. Amis’s gradual return to form...The realism of the satirical rendering of its target, however, is highly debatable in terms of its accuracy and validity.Read Full Review of Lionel Asbo: State of England | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books
This is hardly the glossy photo op the recent London Olympic games...strived to create. But it is writing of a high order: technically brilliant, dazzling in style, manic in energy and driven by a narrative momentum impossible to resist.Read Full Review of Lionel Asbo: State of England | See more reviews from Toronto Star
An aggregated and normalized score based on 174 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes