First off, “Yellow Dog” is not an easy read, mostly because the Martin Amis’ style of storytelling, as a lot of the story involves conversations with not a lot of explanation of what is going on, so if you read it, be prepared to read very carefully.
The main story revolves around Xan Meo, who is a typical anti-hero, which Martin Amis seems to like to put in his stories (like Keith Talent in London Fields); Meo is brutally assaulted at the start of the book, and suffers a personality change; as the book progresses, you get hints that he has a bit of a murky past, but also he struggles to be a good husband, and father to his children.
The book also contains a series of vignettes with their own storylines, which seem loosely connected to the main story – Clint Smoker, the reporter, and corpse who seems to be somehow causing a plane crash and a fictional King of England who seems disinterested in his position.
This book is blackly comic throughout, with a lot of satire about the press and even the porn industry, and becomes almost surreal at times. The tone is also very adult, with a large number of sex references and profanities, so is not for the easily offended.
This is worth reading, but don’t expect to make complete sense of what is going on.
Next book: Pop. 1280 (Jim Thompson)