Martin Bites Back

Rarely has a book been preceded by as much fevered speculation and murderous ill will as Martin Amis' Yellow Dog (Jonathan Cape; 288 pages). It's out this week in the U.K. and already getting more ink than David Beckham on a slow news day. That's because Amis, 54, is one of Britain's best-known serious novelists — and thus one of the biggest targets in the literary field — and Yellow Dog is his first big novel since The Information, eight years ago. Beginning with The Rachel Papers in 1974, Amis' cold eye, slashing wit and verbal ferocity made him a literary...

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