The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom

Martin Amis, Author . Knopf $24 (211p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4454-2

These chronologically ordered essays and stories on the September 11 attacks proceed from initial bewilderment to coruscating contempt for radical Islam. Novelist Amis (House of Meetings ) rejects all religious belief as “without reason and without dignity” and condemns “Islamism” as an especially baleful variant. Amis attacks Islamism's tenets as “[a]nti-Semitic, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, anti-democratic” and characterizes its adherents, from founding ideologue Sayyid Qutb to the ordinary suicide bomber, as sexually frustrated misogynists entranced by a “cult of death.” He also takes swipes at Bush and the Iraq war, which he describes as botched and tragically counterproductive, if well intentioned, but scorns those who draw a moral equivalence between Western misdeeds and the jihadist agenda. Amis's concerns are cultural and aesthetic as well as existential: terrorism threatens a reign of “boredom” in the guise of tedious airport security protocols, pedantic conspiracy theories and the dogma-shackled “dependent mind” fostered by Islamist theocracy. As much as Amis's opinions are scathing, blunt and occasionally strident, his prose is subtle, elegant and witty—and certainly never boring. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/18/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 108 pages - 978-0-307-26928-7
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-676-97786-8
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-36827-0
Hardcover - 214 pages - 978-0-224-07610-4
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-09-948869-9
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-0-676-97785-1
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-1-4000-9600-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1723-8
Show other formats
Discover what to read next