The second plane : September 11 : terror and boredom / Martin Amis.
1st North America ed.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
x, 204 pages ; 22 cm
Formatted Contents Note
The second plane The voice of the lonely crowd The wrong war In the palace of the end Terror and boredom : the dependent mind The last days of Muhammad Atta Iran and the lord of time On United 93 Conspiracy theories, and Takfir Bush in yes-man's land Demographics On the move with Tony Blair An Islamist's journey September 11.
These chronologically ordered essays and stories on the September 11 attacks proceed from initial bewilderment to coruscating contempt for radical Islam. Novelist Amis (House of Meetings) rejects all religious belief as "without reason and without dignity" and condemns "Islamism" as an especially baleful variant. Amis attacks Islamism's tenets as "[a]nti-Semitic, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, anti-democratic" and characterizes its adherents, from founding ideologue Sayyid Qutb to the ordinary suicide bomber, as sexually frustrated misogynists entranced by a "cult of death." He also takes swipes at Bush and the Iraq war, which he describes as botched and tragically counterproductive, if well intentioned, but scorns those who draw a moral equivalence between Western misdeeds and the jihadist agenda. Amis's concerns are cultural and aesthetic as well as existential: terrorism threatens a reign of "boredom" in the guise of tedious airport security protocols, pedantic conspiracy theories and the dogma-shackled "dependent mind" fostered by Islamist theocracy. As much as Amis's opinions are scathing, blunt and occasionally strident, his prose is subtle, elegant and witty-and certainly never boring. (Apr.) Copyrigh.