Besides teeth, much of the substance of Experience is formed by explications of the intense and sometimes perplexing relationships between parent and child, creativity and criticism, and internal struggle and external brilliance. Early in the book, Amis explains that he chose to write a memoir in order to commemorate his father. "He was a writer and I am a writer; it feels like a duty to describe our case—a literary curiosity which is also another instance of a father and a son." Well, yes and no. Kingsley, a celebrated writer, poet, and wit, was also an alcoholic who was often consumed by his own phobias. For starters, he could not bear to be left alone; hence, family closeness of one sort or another was inevitable.