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House of Meetings

by Martin Amis

House of Meetings
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 256 pages

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a love triangle of gothic timbre set in a post-WWII Russian gulag. Novel

House of Meetings is a tale of envy, conscience and ethics set against the harsh backdrop of the gulag period, which has rarely been novelized by English-speaking writers. It is narrated by a hard-nosed old man, a survivor of the Gulag, in the form of an extended letter to his step-daughter as he takes a rather grim cruise north to the labor camp where he spent the longest ten years of his life, enduring extreme cold, starvation and gang wars. The time period of the narration is defined exactly as it is written during the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis, which Amis uses to illustrate that the violence and conflict of Russia's past is still effecting it today.

The narrator is one of life's survivors, he went away when he was 26 and was closing on 40 when he was released, but he has a knack for finding his feet and becomes a TV repairman, from which he ...

Martin Amis, son of writer Kingsley Amis (Lucky Jim etc), was born Martin Louis Amis in Cardiff on August 25, 1949. He is the middle of three children (an older brother Philip and younger sister, Sally, who died in 2000). His parents, Hilary (Hilly) and Kingsley, divorced when he was twelve.

He was educated in schools in Wales, England, Spain and the USA (while his father lectured at Princeton), and graduated from Exeter College, Oxford, with First Class Honours in English. His first novel, The Rachel Papers, was published in 1973 while he was working as an editorial assistant at the Times Literary Supplement. It won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1974.

His work has been heavily influenced by American fiction, especially by Philip Roth, John Updike and Saul Bellow, and also by Russian writers such as Vladimir Nabokov. He is considered to be one of the most ...

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