As a novelist, Amis is free to do whatever he wants with his characters, but the hijackers’ steps on the road to 9/11 repay investigation. Reducing the motivation of the enemy to bloodlust leads nowhere, as the experience of the British in Ireland proved. The result will be wrong and it will be cliche. It may be, given Amis’s spectacular powers, flamboyant, but that will only make it flamboyant cliche. Horrorism. Death cult. Thanatoid. Striking words but poor substitutes for understanding, reason and real knowledge.
I am a big fan of Amis’ writing but I confess to being uncomfortable with some of the positions he is taking at the moment.