Summary

The narrator in “Bujak and the Strong Force” by Martin Amis - a man called Sam - recounts events concerning a Polish man named Bujak whom he met while living in London in 1980.

Sam meets Bujak, a strong man in his sixties, while he is trying to fix the flat tire of his girlfriend, Michiko, a Japanese woman. Sam knows Bujak by his reputation, as a feared and respected man in the neighbourhood. Bujak lived through the Holocaust in Poland and then moved to the US with his wife, mother, and daughter. His wife died in the US and he subsequently moved to London with his family. Because Bujak is physically strong, people fear and respect him. He acts as the policeman and guardian of the neighbourhood where he lives.

As the narrator and Bujak become friends, they discuss topics like the universe, nuclear weapons, and revenge. Bujak believes in Einstein’s theories and is a strong advocate of revenge. Sam is a fearful, anxious man and occasionally envies Bujak’s physical strength.

Sam gets acquainted with Bujak’s family—his old mother Roza, his daughter Leokadia, and his granddaughter, Boguslawa. Leokadia is an attractive and easy-going woman, whose daughter was the result of a one-night-stand. She has an off and on relationship with Pat, a violent man....

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