The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11

The Second Plane Responses to September The English language bows deeper to Amis than anyone else The Daily Telegraph UK A master not only of fiction but also of fiercely controversial political engagement Martin Amis here gathers fourteen

  • Title: The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11
  • Author: Martin Amis
  • ISBN: 9780224076104
  • Page: 338
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The English language bows deeper to Amis than anyone else The Daily Telegraph UK A master not only of fiction but also of fiercely controversial political engagement, Martin Amis here gathers fourteen pieces that constitute an evolving, provocative and insightful examination of the most momentous event of our time At the heart of this collection is the long essay The English language bows deeper to Amis than anyone else The Daily Telegraph UK A master not only of fiction but also of fiercely controversial political engagement, Martin Amis here gathers fourteen pieces that constitute an evolving, provocative and insightful examination of the most momentous event of our time At the heart of this collection is the long essay Terror and Boredom, an unsparing analysis of Islamic fundamentalism and the West s flummoxed response to it, while other pieces address the invasion of Iraq, the realities of Iran and Tony Blair s pallid departure from Downing Street Amis s reviews of pertinent books and films, from The Looming Tower to United 93, provide a wide ranging survey of other responses to these calamitous issues, which are further explored in two short stories The Last Days of Mohammed Atta, and In the Palace of the End, narrated by a Middle Eastern tyrant s double whose duties include epic lovemaking, grotesque torture and the duplication on his own body of the injuries sustained by his alter ego in constant assassination attempts Whether lambasted for his refusal to kowtow to Muslim pieties or hailed for his blunt common sense, Amis is indisputably a great pleasure to read informed, elegant, surprising and this collection a resounding contemplation of the relentless, manifold dangers we suddenly find ourselves living with From the Hardcover edition.

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    About “Martin Amis”

    1. Martin Amis

      Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist and short story writer His works include the novels Money, London Fields and The Information.The Guardian writes that all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis his father complained of as a terrible compulsive vividness in his style that constant demonstrating of his command of English and it s true that the Amis ness of Amis will be recognisable in any piece before he reaches his first full stop Amis s raw material is what he sees as the absurdity of the postmodern condition with its grotesque caricatures He has thus sometimes been portrayed as the undisputed master of what the New York Times has called the new unpleasantness.

    965 thoughts on “The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11”

    1. L'ho preso da Libraccio perché mi piacciono troppo i supercoralli, specialmente a metà prezzo, per la copertina bellissima che ricorda quella di Underworld e perché di Amis avevo appena letto La Freccia del Tempo che mi aveva impressionato (quasi turbato).Il secondo aereo è in realtà una raccolta di articoli scritti tra il 2001 ed il 2007 sul Guardian e sul Times riguardanti l' 11 settembre ed il terrorismo islamico in generale.L' articolo sul quotidiano è genere letterario soggetto a rapi [...]


    2. I borrowed The Second Plane from my Dad as it sounded fascinating, and I was in the mood for an essay collection. Amis is a very good writer, and each of these pieces, all of which revolve around the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, has been thoughtfully informed. Whilst looking at the attack itself, Amis also discusses religion, 'cultification', literature, world leaders, his own writing, and differing outcomes of such attacks. The pieces here, many of which were published in [...]


    3. The pieces written immediately after 9/11 are the best and most incisive, and one in which Amis tags along with Tony Blair, from Ireland to the Oval Office to Baghdad, is fairly entertaining. Much of the rest is exasperating, particularly "Terror and Boredom," the Guardian essay which led Terry Eagleton and others to denounce Amis for Muslim-baiting bigotry: Amis's description of his abandoned novella about Islamist terrorists doesn't convince me that literature is poorer for the loss, and I'm u [...]


    4. This book is a collection of 14 pieces by Amis relating to 9/11 and its aftermath, starting with his initial reaction on 9/18/01 and ending with a piece published 9/11/07. Amis has provoked fellow liberals by throwing their ideology of restrained multicultural relativism in their face, accusing them of not seeing the stark reality of the Islamists agenda. He carefully explains that this is not crude Islamophobia but rather the more particular fear of militant Islam as jihad by Islamists bend on [...]


    5. I wish that this book was a new novel. And I wish that Amis didn't think, as he says early on in his second essay, that his and every author's "whole corpus. . . could now" (after September 11th) "be dismissed with a sigh and a shake of the head." I wish that because I wish what I've just finished reading was a new novel.If you look at the Also By page in the front of this collection, you'll see that out of his last seven books only two have been novels; whereas nine of the previous thirteen boo [...]


    6. Haven't read this author before. Very high level of verbal fluency, and I have the nagging thought that I should have gotten more out of this collection of essays (with a couple short stories mixed in, oddly). Very little actually stuck with me, though. I'd finish one and then a couple hours later realize that aside from attitude and rhetorical flourish all I could recall was "waiting in line at airport security is boring and has gotten worse since 9/11", "if you follow a politician like Tony Bl [...]


    7. Avoid this drivel at all costs. Amis is an Idiot and a Racist. Not only does the book read like a money grabbing piece of trash that promotes Muslim bashing, heightening and using the fear produced from 9/11, it also misquotes (because of the rush to publish it before that fear wore off). I will never read a book by Amis for as long as I live.


    8. What the hell happened to Martin Amis?Years ago now, Amis first entertained me with his hilarious novel Money, a supercharged satire on 1980's greed. Then he intrigued me with his amnesiac mystery story Other People, and dazzled me with the linguistic audacity of his time reversal story, Time's Arrow.Admittedly, he then aggravated me with the narrative heavy-handedness of London Fields, and all but bored me to atrophy with its pointless redux, The Information. It seemed as though the celebrity h [...]


    9. I picked this up on the strength of his earlier book Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million, which I thought was fantastic. There are some differences between the two books that I think will explain the different reactions to them. Koba the Dread is about Stalin and the effect Stalinism had on people. It was written long after the events had happened and the material had some perspective and some sense of proportion. On the other hand, The Second Plane is a collection of articles and tw [...]


    10. Martin Amis, the noted UK novelist, came under fire for remarks verging on anti-Muslim. This collection of his 9/11 themed essays, reviews and short stories attempt to clear the air about where he stands. This Big War of Big Ideas keeps Amis from being neatly slotted or totally agreeable; I doubt there are many Amis dittoheads. If there isn’t much original here—he relies too much on Paul Berman, Sam Harris, Bernard Lewis– he certainly has some electric phrases. He isn’t against Islam, bu [...]


    11. Martin's musings on events on and after 9/11 appear to come more from a passionate place than a knowledgable one. Not that Amis' meticulous research is unapparent here however, his writer's passion make the pieces a more enthralling and engaging read as opposed to just tedious ramblings on raw facts. What is the use of an opinionated response if it is not a little subjective, a little shocking, a little imaginative?My favourite piece was the short fiction 'The Last Days of Mohammed Atta' which M [...]


    12. A very passionate book. Mr. Amis shows no sympathy for the religion of Islam (or any other religion for that matter). Religions suppress reason, women and education. He also brushes aside those who sympathize with Islam – that the ‘terrorists’ are responding to repression from America or Israel. Islamic militants want to kill us and they are intolerant.He also shows disdain to Bush and his Iraq invasion. As many others have pointed out - Bush looks for an analysis (or fabricates one) that [...]


    13. It is a series of essays/short stories. Some are good some are ok. I am glad it was a gift not something I bought. A tad pretentious


    14. Amis has the ability to create dazzling phrases while writing with insight that few others have. After reading criticisms that found Amis racist, I was surprised at how even handed he actually was.


    15. Arrogant Mancunian Martin Amis found his ability to write cuckolded by the terrorporn of That Day. This is his story.


    16. Something of a hodge-podge of book reviews, short stories and essays concerning the events of 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" in the following six years. I found myself warming and cooling to Amis throughout the book; his style, at its best, thrill and disturb with its imagery and linguistic gymnastics, all as cool and cynical as can be. In other ways, his style can be a little forced and insecure, desperate to impress with every sentence. When translated to essay-writing, this instinct [...]


    17. I found this book oddly entertaining in its weird mix of essays and stories elicited by September 11th and its aftermath. Martin Amis writes so well, so it was a pleasure to read. I didn't particularly care for the chapter about Tony Blair, given its tenuous association with the rest of the book. The chapter about Saddam Hussein's son's doubles was incredibly disturbing. I found the anti-PC bent of the book quite refreshing. But I also found Amis's general anti-religiosity humorous at times, tho [...]


    18. November 11 attacks proceed from initial bewilderment to coruscating contempt for radical Islam. Novelist Amis (House of Meetings) rejects all religious belief as without reason and without dignity and condemns Islamism as an especially baleful variant. Amis attacks Islamism's tenets as nti-Semitic, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, anti-democratic and characterizes its adherents, from founding ideologue Sayyid Qutb to the ordinary suicide bomber, as sexually frustrated misogynists entranced by [...]


    19. Non so cosa mi aspettassi da questo libro.Avevo letto che si trattava di una sorta di saggio che incominciava dalla situazione presente nel mese direttamente successivo agli attentati di New York e da lì partiva per un percorso che, attraverso articoli di giornali, recensioni cinematografiche, interviste varie e scritti dell’autore, avrebbe portato fin verso la fine del decennio mostrando come alcune opinioni col passare del tempo si rafforzino mentre altre perdano sostanza.Quello che però m [...]


    20. Martin Amis is such a gifted writer and a brilliant man. Previously I had only read his works of fiction, so it was interesting to read his essays, though I just got depressed. I agreed with about everything he said, and it just reminded me once again how despicable our former president was, and how gullible and naive the American people who supported him were. His interviews with Tony Blair were also insightful. I particularly liked Blair's comment that it is the job of the British P.M. is to g [...]


    21. The problem I found with this book was inherent in the nature of it and so therefore maybe churlish to criticize it for. You see I found that this collection of newspaper articles and stories by Amis, all on the topic of 911, seemed, apart from two short stories, rather samey and so therefore ultimately uninteresting. Too often the articles give no new information or insight into what is to all of us a very familiar topic. Instead Amis offers only cleverly worded and well crafted rhetoric that l [...]


    22. The late David Foster Wallace jumped to mind with this collection, in that Amis shines in the nonfiction essays and fails to deliver compelling fiction, despite the brand name. The good news is that the essays take up north of 150 of the 210 pages here, enough to make the book worth reading. The sad news is that Amis seems to have misplaced the energy and imagination that fired his fiction in the eighties and nineties. Here's hoping he finds it again. In the meantime, he's persuasive and memorab [...]


    23. Sort of hit and missAmis is not an "authority" on many of the issues he tries to tackle here, but that has never slowed him down before (and why should it, really?), he at least brings some interesting/intriguing insights to the table most of the timee guy can write, and I find myself fascinated even when disagreeing with some of his ideas/premises.r accused of being timid in this thinking or a man to shy away from giving an opinion, Amis walks the tightrope at times between those opinions and d [...]


    24. Thought provoking. While, like nearly every collection of articles/essays, it has its weak spots, overall it is well worth the read. There are definitely areas in which Martin Amis & I disagree, but I can nearly always see the reason for his stance. In some ways, "Terror and Boredom," the central piece, was my least favorite. He strays a bit too far into ideology for my taste, without backing up his thoughts as well as in some of the other articles. I particularly liked his reviews. Overall, [...]


    25. A collection of 12 essays and two short stories written between 2001 and 2007. Parts of the collection are well written, resulting in the reader examining their thoughts on terrorism and the massacres of civilians. Other essays are mediocre, as too many disjointed references appear to have been jammed into one article. As a collection, the essays and stories lacks a flow that would normally engage the reader, making them want to read the next chapter. Reading the collection in sequential order o [...]


    26. A stunning, thought provoking and varied study of the tragedy that is September 11. The various pieces become less personal, more objective, then fictionalized and finally analytical the further away from the actual date they were written. Amis puts into beautiful writings how we all seem to deal with events and memories. (One aside, as with most of Amis' work, have your dictionary handy and learn something while along for his ride.)


    27. This is a collection of essays (along with two bits of fiction) loosely tied around the theme of Islamism and 9/11 written between 2002 and 2007. Amis's assessment of Tony Blair, based on an unproductive interview, is witty and insightful. His portrait of Islamism is horrifying; his use of both fact and fiction makes that portrait unsettling, unreal, and alive. Perhaps he has gotten to the truth of terror. He is a great writer.


    28. I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could. I'm a big Amis fan, and I bought this book shortly after it was released and read approximately the first half. It took me this long to pick it back up and finish it, and I think I had a different perspective reading it this far beyond September 11th. I loved some of the essays (and both of the short stories) but was indifferent to some of the others. However, there's no doubt about the fact that Amis is a powerful writer.


    29. This was a really poor book. The writing was terrible and I just couldn't work out what the hell the author was talking about half the time. Each paragraph was full of flowery phrases, big words pulled out of complex dictionaries and thrown together in some kind of incomprehensible garbled waffle that is meant to show how clever the author is with his vocabulary and how dumb the reader is not to understand his cleverness. Absolute pile of arse.


    30. I'm still working my way through these the last of these essays. They're chilling and super-smart and I must admit, it's hard to resist his perspective on fundamental Islamism. His deft pen of course adds to the element of pleasurable distraction for the reader in an otherwise fairly dark collection. I may attempt to insinuate his frequently-appearing term: casus belli into casual conversation. Other side-effects from reading this book will emerge in due course. I will report back.


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