I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Terry Eagleton

To the Manor Born

Big Houses may mean culture and civility, but they are also at the nub of a whole system of property, labour and production and engage the hard-headed qualities of the gentry as well as its more high-minded impulses.

It’s Diston Wot Done It

Like Evelyn Waugh, Amis knows how to sharpen his comedy by a deadpan delivery. Like Waugh too, he is adept at pressing the narrative towards the monstrous, surreal and grotesque while remaining just on this side of the border between realism and fantasy. It is a vein of satire to which the faintest whiff of genuine human sentiment or moral attitudinising is fatal.