GILES COREN | NOTEBOOK
The tragedy of Amis was to be envied by his dad
The death of Martin Amis has affected me more deeply than I thought it would, given that I never met him or read any of his novels. Maybe it’s just the “writer son of a well-known writer dies” that has got me. Along with the fact of his being considered so young, despite being four years older than my own father was when he, also a lifelong smoker, succumbed like Amis to a smoking-related cancer.
But I think it is mostly the irreverence and pettiness of the death notices that has upset me.
All his life, Martin fought to be defined on his own terms and respected in his own right. And, in death, he turns out to have failed. For the overriding sense of