Great Apes

Great Apes Description:

Fans of Will Self s satirical fiction and stunning prose will not be disappointed in the latest from the author who brought readers through the bizarre war between the sexes in i Cock amp Bull i and into the costly world of high stakes business in i My Idea of Fun i With i Great Apes i Self takes readers into a sort of Planet of the Apes with a twist p Simon Dykes is a London painter whose life suddenly becomes Kafkaesque After an evening of routine debauchery traipsing from toilet to toilet and partaking in a host of narcotics the middle aged painter wakes to discover that his girlfriend Sarah has turned into a chimpanzee Simon is also a chimp but he does not accept this fact he is convinced that he is still human br br He is then confined to an emergency psychiatric ward and placed under the care of alpha psychiatrist Dr Zack Busner Simon finds chimp behavior a bit unnatural he can t bring himself to use gestures rather than speech to communicate He also finds it difficult to mate publicly or accept social grooming Dr Zack Busner also a medical doctor radical psychoanalyst maverick axiolytic drug researcher and former television personality is prepared to help Simon get used to chimpunity It is during Simon s gradual simianization that Self s true satirical genius shines as he examines anthropology the trendy art world animal rights and much more p

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future

The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future Description:

When cabdriver Dave Rudman s wife of five years deserts him for another man taking their only child with her he is thrown into a tailspin of doubt and discontent Fearing his son will never know his father Dave pens a gripping text part memoir part deranged philosophical treatise and part handbook of the Knowledge learned by all London cab drivers Meant for the boy when he comes of age the book captures the frustration and anxiety of modern life Five hundred years later the i Book of Dave i is discovered by the inhabitants on the island of Ham where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportion and its author is revered as a mighty prophet

Rating: 3.43 out of 5

How the Dead Live

How the Dead Live Description:

Will Self has one of literature s most astonishing imaginations and in How the Dead Live his talent has come to full flower Lily Bloom is an angry aging American transplanted to England now losing her battle with cancer Attended by nurses and her two daughters lumpy Charlotte a dour successful businesswoman and beautiful Natasha a junkie Lily takes us on a surreal opinionated trip through the stages of a lifetime of lust and rage From s career girl to s tippling adulteress to s PR flak Lily has seen America and England through most of a century of riotous and unreal change And then it s over Lily catches a cab with her death guide Aboriginal wizard Phar Lap Jones and enters the shockingly banal world of the dead the suburbs She discovers smoking without consequences and gets another PR job where none of her coworkers notices that she s not alive She gets to know her roommates Rude Boy her terminally furious son who died in a car accident at age nine Lithy a fetus that died before she ever knew it existed the Fats huge formless shapes composed of all the weight she s ever gained or lost How the Dead Live is Will Self s most remarkable and expansively human book an important disturbing vision of our time

Rating: 3.68 out of 5

The Quantity Theory of Insanity

The Quantity Theory of Insanity Description:

What if there is only a limited amount of sanity in the world and the real reason people go mad is because i somebody i has to What if a mysterious tribe in the Amazon rainforest turn out to be the most boring people on the earth What if the afterlife is nothing more than a London suburb where the dead get new flats new jobs and their own telephone directory These are the sort of truths that emerge in this collection of stories by one of England s most gifted writers br br In b The Quantity Theory of Insanity b Will Self tips over the banal surfaces of everyday existence to uncover the hideous the hilarious and the bizarre Psychiatry anthropology theology and literature will never be the same

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

My Idea of Fun

My Idea of Fun Description:

Will Self has established himself as one of the most brilliant daring and inventive writers of his generation i My Idea of Fun i is Will Self s highly acclaimed first novel The story of a devilishly clever international financier marketing wizard and his young apprentice i My Idea of Fun i is both a frighteningly dark subterranean exploration of capitalism run rampant and a wickedly sharp technically acute display of linguistic pyrotechnics that glows with pure white hot brilliance Ian Wharton is a very ordinary young man until he is taken under the wing of a gentleman known variously as Mr Broadhurst Samuel Northcliff and finally and simply the Fat Controller Loudmouthed impeccably tailored and a fount of bombastic erudition the Fat Controller initiates Ian into the dark secrets of his arts of marketing money and the human psyche and takes Ian and the reader on a wild voyage around the edges of reality As we careen into the twenty first century Self perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our times money is the only common language consumerism violence and psychosis drug induced and otherwise prevail and the human soul has become the ultimate product

Rating: 3.31 out of 5

Cock & Bull

Cock & Bull Description:

Cock A Novelette is the story of a woman who grows a fully functional penis Bull A Farce is the story of a man who acquires a vagina and all its companion parts There are however complications Cock amp Bull the book that introduced an enfant terrible of English letters to an American audience has quickly become a classic of blistering satire

Rating: 3.78 out of 5


Umbrella Description:

A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella James Joyce Ulysses Recently having abandoned his RD Laing influenced experiment in running a therapeutic community the so called Concept House in Willesden maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London under a professional and a marital cloud He has every intention of avoiding controversy but then he encounters Audrey Dearth a working class girl from Fulham born in who has been immured in Friern for decades A socialist a feminist and a munitions worker at the Woolwich Arsenal Audrey fell victim to the encephalitis lethargica sleeping sickness epidemic at the end of the First World War and like one of the subjects in Oliver Sacks Awakenings has been in a coma ever since Realising that Audrey is just one of a number of post encephalitics scattered throughout the asylum Busner becomes involved in an attempt to bring them back to life with wholly unforeseen consequences

Rating: 3.72 out of 5


Dorian Description:

Will Self s DORIAN is a shameless imitation of Oscar Wilde s The Picture of Dorian Gray that reimagines the novel in the milieu of London s early s art scene which for liberated homosexuals were a golden era of sex drugs and decadence before the AIDS epidemic struck later in the decade It is an age in which appearances matter more and more and more Only the shallowest of people won t judge by them

Rating: 3.71 out of 5

Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys

Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys Description:

The New York Times Book Review has called Will Self a defiant satirist with a peculiar mastery of the vocabulary of modern neurosis and Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys is a dazzling foray into his funhouse world Status conscious New Yorkers navigate the perils of dating along with their very literal inner children A man is seduced into a misanthropically charged symbiosis with the insects infesting his cottage In The Rock of Crack as Big as the Ritz a black Londoner discovers an enormous rock of crack cocaine underpinning his house and quickly turns it into an efficient little empire In the title story a psychoanalyst strips away all the sang froid of his professionalism to find beneath precisely nothing Sharp funny and packed with verbal fireworks Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys confirms yet again Will Self s stature as one of the most accomplished and original writers of his generation

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Grey Area

Grey Area Description:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Grey Area demonstrates Will Self s razor sharp wit in nine new stories that delve into the modern psyche with unsettling and darkly satiric results Inclusion tells the story of a doctor who is illegally testing a new antidepressant made from bee excrement A Short History of the English Novel brings us face to face with a pompous publisher who is greeted at every turn by countless rejected authors In The End of the Relationship a woman who has been left by her boyfriend provokes like some emotional Typhoid Mary that same reaction among all the couples she goes to for comfort The narrator of Between the Conceits declares without hesitation that London is controlled by only eight individuals and thankfully he is one of them

Rating: 3.31 out of 5