Matthew Dancona

Amis dissects the modern order

Amis dissects the modern order
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There is an important interview with Martin Amis by Johann Hari in today’s Independent. Read it and make your own mind up: it is a serious piece, and Johann has the intellectual firepower to take on the great novelist. They spar over demographic change, the proper limits of state retaliation to terrorist atrocity and the origins of al Qaeda (US foreign policy, or subterranean psychosis?).

Unlike most interviews, it is a proper conversation, edgy without being confrontational. Not surprisingly, I agree with Amis on the elemental scale of the Islamist threat, and applaud his refusal to explain it away as the product of Western policy errors. But I am dismayed that my favourite author describes Diet Coke – the drink of which I consume gallons a day – as “the least cool of all drinks”. Very unsettling.