Short shot #48: this week’s most arresting simile

A parenthesis from Graydon Carter’s review of Martin Amis’s The Pregnant Widow, in the May 23 NYT Book Review:

(I sat beside [Kingsley Amis] years and years ago at a Private Eye lunch at the magazine’s regular spot … He was funny and raffishly rude, and had the thinnest, whitest skin I’ve ever seen on a man — like a condom filled with skim milk.)

A most unpleasant image, with its parallel between semen and milk — and surely intended to be unpleasant (and to evoke Kingsley Amis’s famously womanizing ways, though Carter describes Amis with a certain degree of admiration as “an accomplished womanizer”.)

(The digression from Martin Amis to his father Kingsley seems to be routine in writing about Martin’s books. We would have felt cheated if Carter hadn’t taken us down that side path.)

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