Martin Amis: Success

(3500 words)

Success (1978), Martin Amis’s ingenious, comic and disturbing third novel, traces the role-reversal between Gregory Riding and his foster-brother, Terence (Terry) Service, and explores their relationship with Gregory’s troubled sister Ursula. When the novel starts, Gregory is an apparent success, Terry a seeming failure; but as the tale proceeds Gregory’s façade of superiority crumbles and Terry comes to the fore. The figures of Gregory and Terry exemplify Amis’s recurrent concern with doubles, in this case in the shape of apparent opposites who turn out to resemble each other in key ways and to exchange qualities – like the urbane Quentin and the vicious Johnny in Amis’s second novel,

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Tredell, Nicolas. "Success". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2011
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]