Will I read the new Martin Amis? Of course I will, and of course it will have me furrowing my brow and nibbling at my lip as I try to figure out where it all went wrong. The thing is, no matter how wrong it gets, I can't help but read Amis's stuff. Even the infamous Mohammed Atta story, included in The Second Plane (although Atta himself was in the first plane), has a compulsive quality to it. He is, if I may slip for a moment into blurbese, incapable of writing a dull sentence.
There's a post at the Guardian blog pointing out Amis's prior form when it comes to writing about/obsessing over apocalyptic themes, namely the 1987 short story collection Einstein's Monsters. I'm inclined to have another look at that book, as in my memory it exists as a kind of pale spectre of disappointment. According to the Guardian post, the "stories in Einstein's Monsters are graphic, repulsive and compulsive: time becomes a fatal disease, a huge dog with human-dissolving saliva attacks a village of mutated humans..." Which sounds a lot cooler and scarier than I remember.
If you can believe it, the Guardian post is written by somebody named Chas Newkey-Burden. I can't decide if that is Amisian or positively Nabokovian!
For further thoughts on Amis, see this ever-so-wittily-titled post. There's also this post, which notes Mart's physical resemblance to a Hollywood bad guy.