Kingsley Amis sees “Beverly Hills Cop II”

Image resultIn 1985, Kingsley Amis was having difficulty finding a publisher for his novel Stanley and the Women “following pressure from those who judged it an outright incitement to misogyny.” “I was outraged” Christopher Hitchens told Martin Amis’ biographer Richard Bradford. “It was an extraordinary case of censorship and I was responsible for placing it with Summit.”

Christopher Hitchens: “Anyway, Kingsley phoned, thanked me and assured me that he owed me a night out when I was next in London. Well, he kept his word and it was a most bizarre evening, in keeping, I later learned, with what had become his routine. Drinks at Primrose Hill followed by more at the Garrick–predominantly whiskies–then a film before dinner. He insisted that we went to see Beverly Hills Cop II, perhaps one of the worst films ever made. Martin and I sat transfixed by its wretchedness but weirdly Kinglsey was rocking back and forth with laughter. During the meal he continued, remarking on how this scene or the other had worked so well and again shedding mirthful tears at the recollection. I was confused. Was he genuinely impressed, amused? That seemed preposterous. Or was he involved in some kind of extended act of self-caricature? Was he trying to provoke us?”

Richard Bradford, Martin Amis The Biography, Constable, 2011.

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