State of England
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A savage, funny, and mysteriously poignant saga by a renowned author at the height of his powers.
Lionel Asbo, a terrifying yet weirdly loyal thug (self-named after England's notorious Anti-Social Behaviour Order), has always looked out for his ward and nephew, the orphaned Desmond Pepperdine. He provides him with fatherly career advice (always carry a knife, for example) and is determined they should share the joys of pit bulls (fed with lots of Tabasco sauce), Internet porn, and all manner of more serious criminality. Des, on the other hand, desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love (and to protect a family secret that could be the death of him). But just as he begins to lead a gentler, healthier life, his uncle—once again in a London prison—wins £140 million in the lottery and upon his release hires a public relations firm and begins dating a cannily ambitious topless model and “poet.” Strangely, however, Lionel's true nature remains uncompromised while his problems, and therefore also Desmond's, seem only to multiply.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
I have been a huge Martin Amis fan for 20 years. London Fields, Dead Babies, Money, The Information ... all pure genius. But lately he is way off his game. The Pregnant Widow was unreadable. I gave him one more chance with Lionel Asbo, which is a total piece of crap. Martin, enjoy your new life, new family, lovely Brooklyn brownstone. Just please, please stop polluting English literature with any more books. Let us remember you for the good stuff.