Michael Hofmann’s review of Martin Amis

Michael Hofmann on ‘The Zone of Interest’ from Martin Amis in the latest issue of London Review of Books – this must be one of the best reviews I have ever read in my life. Ever. I almost ran to my laptop to google him (Hofmann) afterwards. Hands and knees trembling. Devastating too, but I suppose Amis, of all people, can take it. First sentence: ‘I Read The Zone of Interest straight through twice from beginning to end and it feels like I’ve read nothing at all.’ From the middle: ‘He puts – I am afraid – the camp in camp’ (Amis’s novel is set in Auschwitz) or ‘And the governing idea of the book, that love purifies, or the right sort of love purifies (…), that’s best not even mentioned.’ At the end: ‘Speech tends to be colour, not weight; which of course is hopeless (when Mandelstam writes about Stalin, he writes about weight.)’ I will leave the last para for you to discover.