Even before he moved to this country, Mr. Amis nursed a fascination with it in his fiction and journalism. He titled his 1986 collection of pieces about America “The Moronic Inferno,” a phrase he took from his friend Saul Bellow.
These days, he can’t take his eyes off the presidential race, in particular “the incredible convulsions of the Republican Party,” he said. “It’s completely fascinating. What a great time to be coming to America.
“Is Mitt Romney electable?” he continued. “On the face of it, he looks presidential and he’s not stupid. But he lets himself down hideously whenever he has a victory. He looks as if he’s had five grams of coke — he’s shaking with a power rush. And that was always the most impressive thing about Obama: how he didn’t let that happen to himself. As if he didn’t feel it.”
A few weeks ago, he and the journalist Ian Buruma chose some of their favorite films for a discussion at the Morgan Library moderated by Antonio Monda, the ebullient Italian artistic director of Le Conversazioni literary festival. Mr. Amis chose “The Godfather,” “The Wild Bunch,” “Raging Bull” and “Blade Runner,” and got things rolling by saying, in his opinion, no good movies were made before 1966.
Quite a party!After the event, Salman Rushdie, a beautiful young woman in tow, sailed up to Mr. Amis and said hello. Then Mr. Amis and Ms. Fonseca headed to Mr. Monda’s Central Park West apartment, where bowls of piping-hot pasta and glasses of Chianti were passed among a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that included Robert De Niro and Isabella Rossellini.