Without doubt, it's John Self. Oversexed, overpaid and overweight, John Self was the first anti-hero I came across and thought he was bang-on. The morally corrupt are always much more fun than the goody-two-shoes. With his great novel Money, what Martin Amis was also able to explore with such hilarity and prescience was a society suddenly and narcissistically devoid of culture - a place, specifically London and New York, where the only goal was self-gratification. In his crass extravagance as he was flown, invariably comatose, across the pond, John Self came to define an age - an age which came full circle with the 2008 crash. No wonder the BBC has finally decided to film him, or rather Nick Frost playing him. The real triumph, however, is not Self's extraordinarily appealing constitution and irreverence but the possibility that he's so much closer to home. Amis, of course, is asking us to look into the mirror very, very closely. 

Originally in London’s Metro newspaper, January 20th 2010


AuthorAnealla Safdar