Martin Amis - The Second Plane
For maximum enjoyment of The Second Plane, readers should ideally possess two things: an ambivalent approach to religion and a rather hefty dictionary. The first because Martin Amis is not, as some people suggest, anti-Muslim, just disparaging of any ideology which refutes human mortality. The second because the man has a vocabulary the size of an ocean, something which hits you more in his non-fiction work.
Amis takes his title from the most shocking event of the 21st century thus far, the moment the world realised a tragic accident was, in fact, a terrorist attack. Through a collection of essays, reviews, articles and short stories, Amis explores the far-reaching implications of 9/11. Combining a vast knowledge of the Middle East and the history of Islamism with a sharp observational wit, he documents the fear, passion, mystery and devastation of ‘the long war’. A brave and insightful read, as captivating as it is troubling. (Kelly Apter)