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  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529113471
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $22.99

Inside Story

A magisterial, inventive and witty modern classic – Amis’ autobiographical novel and arguably his most important masterpiece to date – the companion volume to EXPERIENCE

'Utterly compelling' Guardian

Life...is shapeless, it does not point to and gather round anything, it does not cohere. Artistically, it's dead. Life's dead.

So begins a love letter to life, a resuscitation of sorts, encountering vibrant characters from Saul Bellow, to Philip Larkin to Iris Murdoch and Elizabeth Jane Howard, and to the person who captivated Amis' twenties, the alluringly amoral Phoebe Phelps.

Amis addresses our burning questions: how to live, how to grieve, and how to die?

  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529113471
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Martin Amis

Martin Amis was the author of fourteen novels, two collections of stories and eight works of non-fiction. His novel Time’s Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for which his subsequent novel Yellow Dog was also longlisted, and his memoir Experience won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2008, The Times named him one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945. Amis died in May 2023.

Also by Martin Amis

See all

Praise for Inside Story

Consistently intelligent and compulsively readable... [Amis] applies his insight and curiosity as a novelist to this stylish and genuine account of his development as a writer. The result reaches the heights of his finest work.

Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*

A deeply engaging 'novelised autobiography' that focuses on love and death... Wonderfully readable, rich in the familiar Amis pleasures of wit, insight, and well-formed anecdotes. An intriguing, often brilliant addition to a storied career.


Warm, generous and deeply moving... This is not only the best book Amis has written in years; it is up there with Money and London Fields as the finest work he's produced.

Alex Preston, Observer

The unexpected gift of Inside Story comes under the heading of "How to Write". Amis reliably provides synaptic pleasure whenever he pauses to give one of his didactic asides about the English language. It would be worth compiling these in a volume to stand alongside Kingsley's The King's English.

Thomas Meaney, New Statesman

The book's most solemn task is perhaps that of honouring the dead...and this it accomplishes beautifully.

Keith Miller, Literary Review

An account [of Larkin is] written with such empathy and insight that it is truly harrowing... grandly resonant, brilliantly suggestive.

Edmund Gordon, Times Literary Supplement

In Amis's writing, [there is] that brilliant observational gift for ironies... There are perfectly crafted scenes that capture the creeping shocks of mortality.

Tim Adams, Observer

Highly entertaining.

Emma Brockes, Guardian

[In Inside Story] humour and illumination flow.

Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Amis's nonpareil sentences brim with warmth, candour, soul... He has generously laid out this all-you-can-eat Amis buffet. Dig in.

Janice Turner, The Times

You really feel that in this book you are getting to the heart of one of the most remarkable writers of our time.

Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

The Mick Jagger of literature... Amis is the most dazzling prose stylist in post-war British fiction.

Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph

Sad and funny... Utterly compelling on grief.

Alex Clark, Guardian

It is always a pleasure to read Martin Amis... [Inside Story] is a generous book in sharing so much with its readers... Brilliant.

Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph

Amis's prose, as you should know by now, has a rush and a power that sweeps you along like surf: you're never going to get a sentence that isn't pulling its weight... The scene at Hitchens's deathbed affected me more than anything else I can remember reading.

Nicholas Lezard, Spectator

Inside Story gathers just about every weapon in the writer's armoury... Tender...corrosively witty...swaggeringly funny... It exhilarates.

Boyd Tonkin

This is a celebration of his [Amis's] life in all its exuberant brilliance and melancholy moments.


[Inside Story displays] compelling insights and observations, courage, tenderness; and above all, an undimmed passion for the written word.

Dan Brotzel, UK Press Syndication

Fascinating... Martin Amis at his best, and that is very good indeed.

David Herman, Jewish Chronicle

Profoundly moving... If Experience was Amis elucidating the visible events of his life, the one-10th of the iceberg sitting above the waterline, then this book is a dark and tender exploration of the part that lies submerged.

Richard Strachan, Herald Scotland

World-class talent... With the life-giving warmth of his brilliant, generous, sometimes unsparing critical writing... Martin Amis is my favorite living writer and Inside Story is his most beautiful book.

Richard A. Chance, New York Times

[Martin Amis is a] master chronicler of the male condition.

Bill Prince, Daily Telegraph

As always with Amis the prose is beautiful, expressive, and precisely engineered... The book is a boundless treasure filled with hilarious anecdotes, heart-wrenching confessions, and eye-opening revelations.

Joshua Whitehead, Mancunion

One of Britain's greatest living writers... With each sumptuous sentence he proves his credentials... For fans of his work, Inside Story is a victory lap; newcomers will be steered towards his rich back catalogue.


For my generation of fiction writers, Amis has become like a granite headland, a navigational marker for our collective endeavour. And here...are all the reasons we still love him... Inside Story gives us access to a turbulent, flawed but exceptional writing life.

Rose Tremain, New Statesman *Books of the Year*

Another work of genius to remind us that he is the best... Amis writes better than anyone. What a book!

Susan Hill, Spectator *Books of the Year*

What a gift, what a feast.

Boyd Tonkin, Spectator *Books of the Year*

Funny, tender and captivatingly intelligent.

John Banville, Irish Times *Books of the Year*

Inside Story is something particular, something unique... the tenor of his writing...about Israel, the Holocaust and 9/11 reveals a different Amis, and is the source of some of the book's best passages.

Neil McCarthy, Spiked

Captivating and moving.

Tablet, *Summer Reads of 2021*

Moving... Beneath the attention-seeking is a well-loved author who has gone through his cupboards, giving us all that he has.

Johanna Thomas-Corr, Sunday Times

A defiant and witty testimony to mortality and a tender remembrance of his friends and literary heroes… I’ve been reading and re-reading it this year

Times Literary Supplement, *Books of the Year*