Martin Amis: Success

(3254 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, Dead Babies (1975). In …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Tredell, Nicolas. "Success". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2011
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]