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Pure schadenfreude then attended her re-heating of the most vitriolic and quotable assessments culled from various US reviewers, each name-checked in the first instance only because of the tyranny of media branding (eg New York Observer, Wall Street Journal, et al). But a grande dame must be careful of the company she keeps: as true at the Guardian as anywhere else, in an age of reflexive conformity.
In addition to relishing the fall of a once literary hero, Brockes also had a personal tale to tell: she had actually got off her arse and seen Amis at a recent books signing in the Hamptons - and was struck by a 'certain pathos' about him, there cloud-like because of all the horrible US critiques, following all the 'Amis-bashing' in the UK. More probably he was just hung-over - rarely a happy sight, especially on Amis' fallen features.
But perhaps not all is lost for Amis. He need not check into the Dignitas Literary Skip just yet. His publisher. Alfred A Knopf/Vintage Books, has posted an ad on Facebook (above left) which sings with nothing but praise for Asbo ... from various US reviewers.
A selective sample for sure but a reminder that we should be wary of sexy-sounding commentary pitches, made to excitable commissioning editors, which get to see the light of day. As true at the Guardian as anywhere else.
And should we doubt this, we need only read the top line of the ad: 'A masterclass' - The Guardian.