About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Review: “Lionel Asbo: State of England”

    By Kyle | November 7, 2012

    A look at Martin Amis’s latest. I’m a huge fan, but this one didn’t fully pan out.

    Topics: Books | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Review: “Lionel Asbo: State of England””

    1. Allison Says:
      November 8th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Kyle. Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. I loved it. It perfectly portrays the tabloid/reality show culture that subsumes us: “Threnody” is Katie Price to a “T”. The terrifying human storm that is Lionel rumbles and threatens throughout Des’s life, and yet he can’t quite break away from him, which broke my heart and made me nearly cry out, Run away! Leave the Towers, emigrate, hide! Amis’s ability to express the almost magical love parents (some parents) have for their child is something I’ve never read from a female writer. Anyway, I, too, am a huge fan (reading “The Pregnant Widow now, and re-read “Success” and “Money” a few months back). “The War on Cliche” is next on my list.
      Love your columns in the NYPost. You remind me a bit of Rob Long. How about giving screen writing a go?
      Happy reading,
      Allison Barrows

    2. Allison Says:
      November 17th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Incidentally, I just started “Yellow Dog” last night. Already love it with this idea (paraphrased): all marriages eventually become sibling-like, with occasional, often regrettable forays into incest. Sounds about right to me, after 30 years’ marriage.