State of England
A savage and biting satire from one of Britain's finest writers
Lionel Pepperdine is England's pre-eminent yob. A churlish and unashamedly savage reprobate, he was served his first Anti-Social Behaviour Order aged three, for the application of explosives to excrement. It was the start of an inimitable career.
By the age of twenty-two, Lionel is a hardened petty criminal enjoying the rewards of extortion and stolen property, and the thrills of Grievous Bodily Harm. He has proudly had his name changed to Asbo, by deed poll. In an endless cycle of incarceration, it is while 'mucking out' in a London prison one morning that news of his greatest success arrives: he has won the National Lottery, just shy of a hundred million pounds. 'Well at least this proves that God has a sense of humour,' says the prison governor.
What follows is a sinister thriller and comic tour de force told by Lionel's honest, intelligent, and frighteningly vulnerable nephew Desmond, who lives in the shadow of Lionel's limitless anger, piqued by his own dirty secret. Most of all, it is a satire on the state of the nation: England, lost in a garish limbo of impotence, rage, and virtuoso vulgarity.
“This is Amis’ most enjoyable book for years”
Mail on Sunday
“Powerful and authentic”
Theo Tait, Guardian
“Thronged with well-drawn caricatures, this is more of an entertaining farce than a ‘state of England’ satire”
James Urquhart, Financial Times