Get personalized recommendations and earn points toward a free book!
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List

The Rub of Time

Best Seller
The Rub of Time by Martin Amis
Jan 22, 2019 | 416 Pages
See All Formats (2) +
  • Paperback $16.95

    Jan 22, 2019 | 416 Pages

  • Hardcover $28.95

    Feb 06, 2018 | 416 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    Feb 06, 2018 | 416 Pages

Product Details


“The book’s heart [is] its literary criticism, labor that allows Amis to realize his most comfortable and integrated self: a novelist engaged in the scrupulous appreciation of others’ style. . . . Amis cherishes the most cosmopolitan virtue of all, humor, [and] approvingly quotes Clive James’s observation that ‘common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing.’ To be without one is to be without the other, a double lack that would doom a writer [to] the inability to rub up against human nature, to strike the sparks of awareness and style that here illuminate everything, especially the books in Amis’s firm grip.” —The New Yorker

“The product of a ferocious yet sensitive mind . . . Amis’s book is like hurtling down a black-diamond ski run. . . . His aim is so unerring that he resembles a figure out of Greek myth, firing arrows through ax-heads lined up in a row.” —The New York Times

“Amis at his considered best, witty, erudite, and unafraid. . . . This collection is full of treasures.” —The Guardian 

“Amis writes with buoyant and cutting authority. His vocabulary, cross-pollinated by his trans-Atlantic reading and life, is pinpoint and peppery; his syntax supple and ensnaring. The pleasure Amis takes in observation, cogitation, and composition is palpable, and he is acidly funny. . . Amis writes with agility, spirit, artistry, and a shrewd sense of the deepest implications.” —Booklist

“Glorious. . . . Very few writers can surprise and delight in the way Martin Amis can.” —The Telegraph

“Martin Amis is a great writer and a great reader. . . . He is our sure-footed mountain guide, leading us gleefully from one delight to the next.” —The Sunday Times (London)

“A sharp, witty collection. . . . Literate, perspicacious, and thoroughly entertaining.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Certitude is the key to Amis’s superhuman flair—and what makes this collection so compelling.” —The New Statesman (London)

“Amis is infallibly a lucid, linguistically precise commentator. . . . A witty, welcome presence.” —Publishers Weekly

Table Of Contents

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments

By Way of an Introduction
He’s Leaving Home

Twin Peaks
Vladimir Nabokov and the Problem from Hell
Saul Bellow, as Opposed to Henry James

Politics 1
The Republican Party in 2011: Iowa
The Republican Party in 2012: Tampa, Florida
The Republican Party in 2016: Trump

Literature 1
Philip Larkin: His Work and Life
Larkin’s Letters to Monica
Iris Murdoch: Age Will Win

The House of Windsor
Princess Diana: A Mirror, Not a Lamp
The Queen’s Speech, the Queen’s Heart

More Personal 1
You Ask the Questions 1
The Fourth Estate and the Puzzle of Heredity
On the Road: The Multicity Book Tour
The King’s English
Twin Peaks 2
Bellow’s Lettres
Nabokov’s Natural Selection

Americana (Stepping Westward)
Losing in Las Vegas
Travolta’s Second Act
In Pornoland: Pussies Are Bullshit

Literature 2
Don DeLillo: Laureate of Terror
J. G. Ballard: From Outer Space to Inner Space
Early Ballard: The Drowned World
The Shock of the New: A Clockwork Orange Turns Fifty

Three Stabs at Tennis
The Champions League Final, 1999
In Search of Dieguito Maradona
On the Court: My Beautiful Game

More Personal 2
Deciding to Write Time’s Arrow
Marty and Nick Jr. Sail to America
You Ask the Questions 2

Politics 2
Ivan Is Introduced to the USSR: All Together Now
Is Terrorism “About Religion”?
In Memory of Neda Soltan, 1983–2009: Iran
The Crippled Murderers of Cali, Colombia

Literature 3
Philip Roth Finds Himself
Roth the Elder: A Moralistic Investigation
John Updike’s Farewell Notes
Rabbit Angstrom Confronts Obamacare
Jane Austen and the Dream Factory  

More Personal 3
Christopher Hitchens

Politics 3
On Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition
President Trump Orates in Ohio

Twin Peaks 3
Bellow: Avoiding the Void
Véra and Vladimir: Letters to Véra

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top