Into it: Martin Amis

... Reading?

Martin Gilbert, A History of Israel. Well, it's an amazing story. When the first settlers came in the late 19th century, would they have believed they would defeat five Arab armies to secure their state? It's a very emotional book. I mean, [Gilbert] doesn't write emotionally, but ... what a tremendous work of emotions Israel is.

... Listening to?

An incredible guitarist. Michael Lee Firkins. I've only been able to get one of his CDs, but I don't tire of it. His technique is so good that you almost think he's satirizing the guitar.... Just regular rock. Some country. No singing. Rhythm and blues.... As a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, a band got together and played a lot of his songs and made a CD of it.... The one I thought was really great was [Firkins]. No one's like Hendrix. With him, it's pure emotion straight out of his guitar. Firkins is more like [ Eric] Clapton. Great technique.

... Watching?

I was very stirred up by The Passion of the Christ. I'm tremendously secular. I'm actually antireligion. But the power of the myth is very great. The idea that God would turn himself into a man – he's not wholly a man, because he can do miracles.... I think the Greek word is kenosis, which means the journey from God to man; it literally means emptying yourself. One thing that was caught very well by that film was the idea that he was godlike in some ways: He could endure a great deal of pain – but it really hurt.

Martin Amis is the author of 20 books. His most recent novel, 'House of Meetings' (Knopf), came out last month.

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