By Martin Amis
224 pages. Knopf.
The razor's-edge essays in Martin Amis's The Second Plane, subtitled September 11: Terror and Boredom (Knopf), range from a vivisection of Islamist fundamentalism to a chilling immersion into Muhammed Atta's loveless psyche. Amis is no optimist—"and yet," he writes, "love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black. We can't tell if it will survive us. But we can be sure that it's the last thing to go."