SOUR GRAPES, BAD TEETH

MARTIN AMIS SATIRIZES LITERARY ENVY IN HIS NEW NOVEL, BUT IT CAN HARDLY MATCH THE GRIPING HE HAS STIRRED UP IN BRITAIN

"WHENEVER A FRIEND SUCCEEDS, a little something in me dies," Gore Vidal once said, pretty much covering the subject of envy in a single line. Now Martin Amis has milked the topic for an entire novel. The Information (Harmony; 374 pages; $24) is just appearing in the U.S., two months after its publication in Britain. With it trails a controversy that has kept the London book world jawing for months.

The flap is less about the novel--a boisterous tale that Evelyn Waugh might have written were he resurrected as a Monty Python--than about Amis, 45, a best-selling writer undergoing some serious...

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