This book offers a quite remarkably negative self-portrait. The most obvious explanation is that Amis was disgusted with himself for leaving his first wife in such a callous manner, but few people would have gone this far.
There's an interesting question of chronology here, which I remember discussing with Jordan and Beth Ann. Maybe someone who knows more about Amis can tell us in precisely which order the following events happened?
- Amis starts writing this novel.
- Amis decides on the title One Fat Englishman
- Amis gets involved with the woman who later becomes his second wife.
- While Amis is asleep on the beach, his first wife scrawls 1 FAT ENGLISHMAN I FUCK ANYTHING on his back in lipstick, and takes a photograph which is later widely circulated.
- Amis leaves his first wife.