Martin Amis: Einstein's Monsters

(2802 words)

Einstein’s Monsters (1987) is the first of Martin Amis’s books to engage with large modern traumas: in this case, the threat of nuclear war. It is a slender but powerful volume whose 127 pages (in the original harback edition) contain an introductory essay, “Thinkability”, and five short stories. Amis’s prefatory “Author’s Note” explains that the title “refers to nuclear weapons, but also to ourselves. We are Einstein’s monsters, not fully human, not for now” (ix). Amis starts “Thinkability” with a characteristic piece of personalization, by linking his own birth with the nuclear threat: “I was born on 25 August 1949: four days later, the Russians …

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Tredell, Nicolas. "Einstein's Monsters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 February 2012
[, accessed 04 October 2015.]