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Literary smackdown – Martin Amis vs Katie Price


I love this story from the UK where Martin Amis – the highly regarded author and darling of the literary media – has made it very clear that he hates Jordan / Katie Price – the former glamour model whose ghosted novels and frequently published memoirs sell by the truckload.

“She has no waist… an interesting face… but all we are really worshipping is two bags of silicone,” he told the Hay Festival in London this week where he was actually supposed to promoting his latest novel.

Her latest novel Sapphire is still riding high in the bestsellers list, three months after publication, while her first novel outsold the entire Booker prize shortlist.

In trying to understand this, Amis has read both volumes of Price’s autobiographies, and avidly follows her exploits in the tabloids. He even admits she has inspired a character, Threnody, in his upcoming novella State Of England – saying she ‘isn’t based on, but you should bear in mind, Jordan’.

>I’m glad he has at least read her books. I love the idea of Martin Amis sitting down in his extensive library surrounded by Hemingways, WH Auden collections and probably a few Sartres with a Katie Price book in his hand – I can imagine him muttering and cursing under his breath as he remembers that Katie has sold thousands of books in 2009 and that he’s probably sold a couple of hundred.

Here’s my take. For years everyone made fun of Katie Price as a witless peroxide blonde with huge knockers and guess what? She turns out to be an astute businesswoman who cleverly develops her own brand and works relentless to promote herself. She even develops a new set of fans away from the men who loved her topless photos – now young girls love her for her horse-themed books and women buy her autobiographies.

Years ago, I was promoting a charity netball game in London where lots of celebs turned up to play. Katie Price came along – at the time she was still Jordan with unfeasibly large breasts. She got stuck in and played as best as she could considering several pounds of silicon slowed her running ability and also hampered her ball-handing, but none of the other celebs would pass the ball to her. After the final whistle, they completely shunned her. You could just tell they hated her.

Well, Katie Price has the last laugh now. Personally, I’m happy to see people reading – even if the books are ghosted and rubbish. Like a lot of other people in the UK, she probably doesn’t even know who Martin Amis is. I’m sure Price will be completely unfazed by Amis’ comments because….. she’s too busy being Katie Price.

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Richard Davies

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