I honestly didn't realise that this was meant to be "not a novel " until I had finished it. It is a very strange mash of genres, part fictionalised memoir, part autobiography , part social history and among other things a guide to writing. Sometimes Amis comes and across as almost unbearably smug but just when I was about to throw the book across the room, he says something that makes him forgivable.
At his best, he writes with moving sincerity about his love and loyalty for his friends, and his grief at their deaths. At his worst, he or the writer, comes across as utterly self absorbed.
No matter how infuriating at times, it is compelling reading. I read a description of Amis as "The Mick Jagger of the literary world" which made me laugh, but also made me wonder if either would be so feted as creatures of cool if they were plumbers from Purley ?
Maybe Jagger but I'm not sure about Martin Amis.
Worth a read especially as he says it will be his last book, which I don't entirely believe.