Martin Martin's on the Other Side

Mark Wernham

Martin Martin's on the Other Side

An episode of Porn Disco, the latest luxury Dermo Shower, a day's work at the Security Department and fistfuls of drugs: this is the daily life of Jensen Interceptor, 'ace' government spy. Fresh out of Study Centre 16, Jensen is ambitious; he wants to pay off his student debts as soon as possible and blag his way to the top, helping the government instil its dream and mantra: Unity and Success. And there will be other rewards: a life of government-sanctioned vice is guaranteed, he'll get to live out his days in the floodlit safety of south London, never venturing into the wastelands of the north with its povos and tramps. His first assignment is a simple one: keep an eye on Reg Rankin, a low-level security threat and leader of the Martin Martinists, a small group who believe that Martin Martin, a phoney TV psychic consigned to the daytime schedules back in 2008, was the saviour and a prophet.He was about to reveal world-altering truths. Then the government murdered him. Now the Martin Martinists are plotting the Revelation, which will finally bring justice, truth, revenge. With the help of the Makeover Team, Jensen acquires a new identity and infiltrates this small cell. And this isn't without its benefits - there's a pretty girl called Claire. Then the floating starts. Jensen floats out of the window. Or he suddenly finds himself underwater but thousands of feet above the ground. Or he shuts his eyes and finds himself in the past, in the TV studio with Martin Martin. The world is not what it seemed. It is turned upside down, sometimes literally. 3.0 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Martin Martin's on the Other Side

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 304
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication January 2008
ISBN 978-0224081702
Publisher Jonathan Cape
 

An episode of Porn Disco, the latest luxury Dermo Shower, a day's work at the Security Department and fistfuls of drugs: this is the daily life of Jensen Interceptor, 'ace' government spy. Fresh out of Study Centre 16, Jensen is ambitious; he wants to pay off his student debts as soon as possible and blag his way to the top, helping the government instil its dream and mantra: Unity and Success. And there will be other rewards: a life of government-sanctioned vice is guaranteed, he'll get to live out his days in the floodlit safety of south London, never venturing into the wastelands of the north with its povos and tramps. His first assignment is a simple one: keep an eye on Reg Rankin, a low-level security threat and leader of the Martin Martinists, a small group who believe that Martin Martin, a phoney TV psychic consigned to the daytime schedules back in 2008, was the saviour and a prophet.He was about to reveal world-altering truths. Then the government murdered him. Now the Martin Martinists are plotting the Revelation, which will finally bring justice, truth, revenge. With the help of the Makeover Team, Jensen acquires a new identity and infiltrates this small cell. And this isn't without its benefits - there's a pretty girl called Claire. Then the floating starts. Jensen floats out of the window. Or he suddenly finds himself underwater but thousands of feet above the ground. Or he shuts his eyes and finds himself in the past, in the TV studio with Martin Martin. The world is not what it seemed. It is turned upside down, sometimes literally.

Reviews

The Guardian

Cathi Unsworth

This is a dark, brilliantly funny satire from a maverick new talent who clearly has a lot to say about these interesting times we live in.

19/01/2008

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The Observer

Francesca Segal

...utterly insane... In a peculiar union of the original and the derivative, elements are thrown together from Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four and almost every other 20th-century dystopian vision... Jensen's idiocy can be wearing, as can the linguistic tics that are peppered throughout - the vernacular of this possible future - but Wernham is certainly full of ideas, the completely mad plot pulls together nicely and it is occasionally very funny as our naive hero tries very hard to be brave.

15/04/2009

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The Independent

Jonathan Gibbs

Jensen's narrative voice is a deliberately charmless amalgam of swearing, baby-talk and buzzwords... It's a deliberate echo of Alex in Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, and if it seems a poor relation in terms of linguistic inventiveness, maybe that's the point. Which doesn't make it any less of a chore to read. What do we expect from such a future-dystopia? Whether it's Brazil or Nineteen Eighty-Four, the creation of a believable world is only half the point. There must be a reason for its creation, which is where we hope for some serious analysis. The problem with Martin Martin... is that, for all its plausibly repellent window-dressing, the motor of the plot is not political at all. It hangs on Martin Martin's paranormal abilities – time travel, precognition and spiritual possession. Throw in a surprisingly conventional epiphany for Jensen and you have a novel that's not half as cynical or radical as it would like to think.

24/01/2008

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