London Fields

Samson Young is creating his own world to make up for the one he is slowly losing each day. He is the omniscient eavesdropper, the silent witness to his surroundings and the goings on of his characters, but the recorder of everyone’s little dirty secrets. Sam has an obsessive need to make his presence known to his readers and his identity as solidified or even more so than the people around him he writes of with a sort of detached exhaustion. He is truly the only character in Martin Amis’ London Fields who sits down and confesses his thoughts, fears, and suspicions. He barters his confidences on dying for our apt attention. As his body breaks down his mind surprisingly sharpens and his focus falls on creating the ‘story of his lifetime’. He narrows in on certain key players in his tale and goes about trying to control each character as though he were director, writer and producer of a show he is also playing in on the safe periphery. He desperately wants to be a part of this created world where he can manipulate and form minds and his physical deterioration cannot completely destroy him. He claims London Fields is about Nicola Six, Guy and Keith; and that is true to the extent that they are his own private chess pieces. In his fictional world writers are gods (even dying ones). They can change the face of history. They can reach immortality on the paper. But he needed a compelling story for his magnum opus. So he began to peck away at the minds and bodies of his ‘victims’ for literatures’ sake. Although in Amis’ world even the victims are a bit of ‘baddies’ themselves.

By writing about the death of his anti-heroine, the complex femme fatale Nicola Six, Samson Young can now ‘live’ on. He says who lives and who dies and then he gets to write about it. He suddenly feels uplifted and sexually and emotionally resurrected with knowledge of the impending murder. For him there is no question of his involvement in this plot, he must be a part of it somehow so he can feel real again.

Three days in and I am ready-I am ready to write. Hear my knuckles crack. Real life is coming along so fast that I can no longer delay. It’s unbelievable. Two decades of fastidious torment, two decades of non-starting, and suddenly I’m ready. Well, this was always destined to be the year of behaving strangely.

I think I am less a novelist than a queasy cleric taking down the minutes of real life. Technically speaking, I am also, I suppose, an accessory before the fact, but to hell with all that for now. I woke up today and thought if London is a spider’s web, then where do I fit in? Maybe I’m the fly. I’m the fly.”

Is Samson the fly in the spider’s web or the spider himself? He could also simply be the web. He has spun a ‘story web’ to catch the flies (his characters) in order to weave his very own tale as it happens. He plies himself as the ‘fly’ – the one to be consumed by the story and it’s people, and by his consuming disease. He is determined to make his mark in or on the world strong, poignant and real – whether he triumphs over his disease or becomes martyred as the fly who offered himself up to the web and the spider all for a good yarn. This is the most poignant story of his life and he’d kill or be killed for it.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!