I've recently read the first few chapters of Martin Amis's Experience (and abandoned the memoir), so i feel a short review of this book's excerpt is quite in place.
Amis has recently published his twelfth novel, The Pregnant Widow.
The following excerpt is available from the New York Times (for online subscribers only, but it doesn't take more than 1 minute to register)and is taken from the book's first chapter.
The young Amis of Experience's first chapter is a young, poshy and opinionated brat in the process of intellectual and individual 'growing': he's thinking of living on his own but he's still highly dependent on the opinions, as well as allowances, of the 'higher powers'; his father, the author Kingsley Amis, and his second wife, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard.
The general tone and subject matter might not be characteristic of the whole memoir (the narrator in the first chapter is a very young and inexperienced Amis who's going to grow up into a much appraised and successful author) but reading the book's excerpt you get a pretty good idea of what it's going to be like sticking around for the next 400 pages or so, like a guest invited to a party solely for the host's amusement sake, or in order to help clearing the dishes afterwards...
Even considering that this is an autobiography, and that the author is supposed to ponder endlessly upon his favorite subject - himself, there is not too much for the average reader in the first few chapters of Experience.
VERDICT: DON'T BUY (unless you're an avid Martin Amis fan..)