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Other People

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Wikipedia article

'Other People' is a novel by British writer Martin Amis, published in 1981.


Mary, an amnesiac young woman, wakes and tries to piece together her previous life while using a new identity.


The book starts as a comedy, slips into a thriller, and ends a horror story.

Amis saw the novel as a kind of overall investigation. "Mary (the main character) doesn't know what her role is," Amis explained in 1981.Judy Dempsey, 'The Irish Times', "In Search of Realism," March 31, 1981 "Because of this, men start questioning their own attitudes towards women, and even about themselves. When one's role is undermined, you begin to look at everything around you in a different light."


The book was well received in Britain and the United States. The writer J.G. Ballard called 'Other People' "Powerful and electrifying... 'Other People' is a metaphysical thriller, Kafka reshot in the style of 'Psycho'." Writing in Britain's The Guardian, poet, writer and critic Anthony Thwaite spoke the novel's "enormous confidence of address," continuing, "Other People is 'about' a descent into Hell, Hell being 'other people'-- it's a very strange and impressive performance."Anthony Thwaite, 'The Guardian', "Season in Hell", March 8, 1981 The Times found "For all its savagery... Other People is a funny book... an achievement light years ahead of his earlier novels."'The Times', "Other People," March 5, 1981 Judy Dempsey wrote in The Irish Times, "Amis has done something important in 'Other People.'"Judy Dempsey, 'The Irish Times', "In Search of Realism," March 31, 1981 In the Los Angeles Times, Charles Champlin called Amis "an English literary celebrity who, like Norman Mailer and Truman Capote here, finds himself in the columns more often than some film stars," and found the book, "an ingenious and mischievous piece of writing, nothing like a mystery with a tidy ending...a tour de force."Charles Champlin, 'The Los Angeles Times', "A beguiling baffler without neat ends," June 21, 1981


'Other People' is the first book Amis completed after choosing to become a full-time fiction-writer; he had been on-staff at the New Statesman until 1979. Amis told an interviewer "I wanted to leave to devote myself to full-time writing. It was the responsibility of doing something else, not wholly connected with my writing that exhausted me from writing what I wanted. I enjoyed it, but I felt writing was more important."Judy Dempsey, 'The Irish Times', "In Search of Realism," March 31, 1981


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