I remember a conversation with a friend a couple of years ago about Nick Hornby
's High Fidelity
. She told me that she never got around to finishing the book because it was too British. I always found it odd that she said that, because I didn't think that he was too British; in fact, Hornby'd even denied so during interviews. When talking about influences, he'd always talk about American writer Anne Tyler, and he always shrugged off comparisons to contemporary British writers like Martin Amis. If anything, he said, his voice was closer to that of Martin's father, Kingsley Amis.
Anyway, I bring this up because I just finished reading my first Amis novel, Yellow Dog
, and now *that* is a very British novel. I'm not yet familiar with Amis' other work, but this one read like a very British Elmore Leonard, or an early Guy Ritchie film in print, with Amis' stylized prose subbing in for the visual flourish of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
. It's not always a good thing; it wasn't the easiest book to read, British-ness aside, but it did tie things together neatly in the end.
Speaking of Brits, I caught this very funny interview of Russell Brand on Conan
the other night. I hadn't seen any of Brand's films, but I heard he was such a phenomenon in the UK. I had seen him on Leno, and I thought that he looked so flamboyantly gay. Then I saw him on TMZ, which highlighted his womanizing; ang tulis pala ni Russell Brand
. It reminds me of that old SNL skit about former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "He's not gay... he's just English!"
Labels: books, television