Inside Story by Martin Amis review – a curious mashup of fiction and memoir

The novelist’s musings on his life, art and loved ones are humorous, grumpy and utterly compelling on grief

Inside Story is a deeply curious book, in both senses; it asks a lot of questions, and it often asks them oddly. It’s a second go, for a start: a partial autobiography that describes itself as a novel and which is built on the ruins of an abandoned project of a decade or more ago, a book called “Life” that died a death before it could see the light of day. It is a true story that clearly takes liberties – recasting historic conversations so that they read as little playscripts, slipping between real names and pseudonyms, darting back and forth in time. And, of course, there has already been a memoir, 2000’s Experience, which focused more directly on Amis’s parents, Kingsley and Hilly.

Related: Martin Amis: 'I was horrified that Trump got in. Now it’s looking scary'

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