“You’re no good at reading, then, mate.”

While I am partial to a a bit of Amis, Kingsley, when it comes to Amis, Martin I have never quite found it to “take”, so to speak.

I came across this gem of an Amisism (of the Martinian subspecies) in a comment on an article in The Dabbler. Or rather, “Brit” (AKA Andrew Nixon), the author of the comment, came across i. Anyway, here is Brit’s comment:

In the Grayson Perry edition of The New Statesman I mentioned in my Diary last week there is an interminable ‘conversation’ between the aforementioned transvestite potter and Martin Amis.

If you wade through the endless batting back and forth of their pre-prepared parcels of de Bottonish ‘insight’, you will find this gem from Amis:

A book, anything that’s got quality, is incapable of depressing the reader or the viewer. When people say, “I liked your last novel – depressed the hell out of me, though,” I think, “You’re no good at reading, then, mate.”

That strikes me as an excellent rhetorical device, and author’s version of invoking Sumai. If anyone criticises your novel, you simply say: “You’re no good at reading, then, mate!”

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