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Money Is Oh-So-Funny

If you can get past the “dirtiness” of this novel–and there’s a lot to get past–Money by Martin Amis is quite an entertaining book.

It’s one of the more quotable novels I’ve encountered on the list. It seems like there’s one zinger on every page.

The narrator, John Self, is a narcisstic jerk, a horrible person, but he will make you laugh. And because of that, it’s difficult not to like him at times.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes in the early pages of Money:

On Memory

Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it. You don’t agree? I don’t agree either. Memory has never amused me much, and I find it’s tricks more and more wearisome as I grow older. Perhaps memory simply stays the same but has less work to do as the days fill out. My memory’s in good shape, I think. Its just that my life is getting less memorable all the time. Can you remember where you left those keys? Why should you? Lying in the tub some slow afternoon, can you remember if you washed your toes? (Taking a leak is boring, isn’t it, after the first few thousand times? Whew isn’t that a drag?) I can’t remember half the stuff I do anymore. But then I don’t want to much.

On Reading

About me and reading (I don’t really know why I tell you this–I mean, do you read that much?): I can’t read because it hurts my eyes. I can’t wear glasses because it hurts my nose. I can’t wear contacts because it hurts my nerves. So you see, it all came down to a choice between pain and not reading. I chose not reading. Not reading–that’s where I put my money.

On Happiness

Deep down, I’m a pretty happy guy. Happiness is the relief of pain, they say, and so I guess I’m a pretty happy guy. The relief of pain happens to me pretty frequently. But then so does pain. That’s why I get lots of that relief they talk about, and all that happiness.

On Weather

Sometimes when I walk the streets–I fight the weather. I take on those weather gods. I kick and punch and snarl. People stare and occasionally they laugh, but I don’t mind. Tubbily I execute karate leaps, forearm smashes, aiming for the sky. I do a lot of shouting too. People think I’m mad, but I don’t care. I will not take it. Here is someone who will not take the weather lying down.

That last one sounds a little bit like me during the heat of the summer. I’ve been known to curse the weather a time or two when it’s 95 degrees outside. I hate sweating.

Anyway, at least for my taste, Money has quite a few entertaining passages.

Much more to come as I continue on through this novel.

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. This are some good ones!

    Like

    January 30, 2014
  2. I want to read this book so bad! Can’t understand why I keep stalling.

    Like

    January 30, 2014
  3. Haven’t read this book. These excerpts have the smackings of an an unreliable narrator. Any inkling that this is the case?

    Like

    January 30, 2014
    • Definitely. A drunk, unreliable narrator.

      Like

      January 30, 2014
  4. Money floats on a level of triteness that I haven’t encountered since Myra Breckinridge. Of course it seems so quotable: it is a bundle of hackneyed observations and situations worthy of a Adam Sandler movie. In contrast, similar themed works from Sukenick, Bukowski, St. Aubyn, Waugh, Schulberg, and even Vidal, are less embarrassingly trivial and far more relevant. This Amis text is definitely one which had me stop and wonder what they were thinking when Time Magazine selected its top 100 novels.

    Long Island? Now there’s a knee slapper.

    Like

    January 30, 2014
  5. Hahaha! This one sounds like it’s right up my alley.

    Like

    January 31, 2014
  6. His idea of happiness confused me a bit. Will try reading it again to understand it.

    Like

    January 31, 2014
  7. Will come back ~ need more time

    Like

    January 31, 2014
  8. Love hurts most when you love the most. Yes that is a good one there Robert. Thanks

    Like

    January 31, 2014
  9. This could be my autobiography. I usually put my keys in the very same place. Why is that time after time I can’t seem to find and have to spend twenty minutes looking for them.

    Like

    January 31, 2014
  10. This one’s going on the ‘to-read’ shelf!

    Like

    February 3, 2014

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