London Fields

Authority Versus Weakness in Martin Amis’ London Fields College

Martin Amis’ London Fields depicts a non-traditional murder story which Samson Young, the narrator, seeks to transcribe. On a quest to find her murderer as part of a suicidal death wish, Nicola Six forms relationships with Keith Talent and Guy Clinch, two candidates she believes may commit murder if properly provoked. While it appears that Nicola Six is an autonomous figure of authority in that she is the orchestrator of her own demise, Nicola is actually the weakest of the characters in London Fields because of her dependence upon certain individuals for the outcome of her self-foretold future.

Nicola’s dependence on Keith Talent lies in her belief that he is her potential murderer, thus leading her to initiate a sexual relationship in which she enacts events designed to provoke Keith to commit murder. The narrator first introduces Keith as “a bad guy. Keith Talent was a very bad guy. You might even say he was the worst guy” (4), further explaining that “every pub has its superstar, its hero, its pub athlete, and Keith was the knight of the Black Cross” (23). We soon come to know Keith as a “cheat” (6), who possesses a love of darts, “sex, violence, and sometimes money” (165), and who always seems to be suffering from a “...

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