Martin Amis – a chronicler of social decay

Martin Amis, the novelist wunderkind of the 1970s/80s – ‘the Mick Jagger of fiction’ – son of the equally celebrated Kingsley Amis has died aged 73, ironically at the same age as his father and of the same cancer that carried off his best friend Christopher Hitchens a decade ago. He was above all else a wordsmith with a supreme talent for illuminating the underbelly of society in bleak, black comedy.

  He was born 25 August 1949, no birth time, and had a fractured upbringing with his parents divorcing, school hopping round 14 establishments before his stepmother Elizabeth Jane Howard got him into a crammer and thence to success at Oxford, into literary journalism and an award winning first novel when he was 24.  He became a writer-celebrity with multiple romantic liaisons like his father, vast advances for his novels which were rarely earned and a glitzy lifestyle. But the darkness was always there underneath. A reviewer wrote: ” He may have been rich and famous but his mental address remained Desolation Row.”

 In the 1990s he discovered a cousin, whom he had grown up with, had been one of serial rapist and killer Fred West’s victims 20 years before which seemed to confirm his unquiet view of life.  He discovered a daughter he never knew he had, whose mother had suicided years before; and his sister drank herself to death.

  He had a serious Virgo Sun conjunct Saturn with Mercury and Moon also in Virgo – a Virgo emphasis is often seen in writers’ charts, giving attention to words, detail and often having a critical view of life. He also had an adventurous Mars in Cancer opposition Jupiter in money-magnet Capricorn squaring onto a North Node in Aries.

His writer’s 21st harmonic is strong and revolutionary, as if he wanted to change society. His two creative harmonics the 5th and 7th are also heavily aspected and tied into the Node (and the zeitgeist).

 His father Kingsley Amis, 16 October 1922 was a bird of a different feather, with a Libra Sun Mercury and Jupiter square Mars in Capricorn. He was equally skilled with words but had a lighter outlook on life.

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