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Will Self is the author of three short-story collections, The Quantity Theory of Insanity (winner of the 1992 Geoffrey Faber award), Grey Area and Tough Tough Toys for Touch Tough Boys; a dyad of novellas, Cock and Bull, and a third novella, The Sweet Smell of Psychosis; and four novels, My Idea of Fun, Great Apes, How the Dead Live (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2000) and The Book of Dave.
Together with the photographer David Gamble, he produced Perfidious Man, a sideways look at contemporary masculinity. There have been three collections of journalism, Junk Mail, Sore Sites and Feeding Frenzy. Will Self has written for a plethora of publications over the years and is a regular broadcaster on television and radio. His latest work is a collection of pieces entitled Liver: A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. Radical in its conception, uncompromising in its style, Umbrella is Will Self's most extravagant and imaginative exercise in speculative fiction to date. Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of Man Booker Prize 2012 judging panel, on Umbrella... 'Will Self's Umbrella is about a misdiagnosed woman in a north London mental hospital, her family and her doctor. As has been noted in most reviews, it comprises almost 400 pages without paragraph breaks or chapter divisions. Self aims his remarkable mind and literary technique at many subjects that drew other writers in this Man Booker year - the tricks of age and memory, the limitations of technology, the city as a metaphor. This novel is both moving and draining. The judges placed Umbrella on the shortlist with the conviction that those who stick with it will find it much less difficult than at first it seems.'
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 23 October 2008. Please note that we are currently unable to provide an extract from this title. An amazing jacket which can't help but catch your eye brings you to four new short stories all based around the largest internal human organ in varying states of disease. Self brings his usual acid tongue and satire to each tale, a darkly funny read.
From Banks's brewery's yeasty stink to groaty pudding to spicy curry, Sebastian Groes and R. M. Francis have assembled a new literary history of the smells and (childhood) memories that belong to the Black Country. This often overlooked region of the United Kingdom at the frontlines of post-industrial upheaval is a veritable treasure trove for studying the relationship between olfaction and place-specific memory. Smell, Memory, and Literature in the Black Country is an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between smell and memory in which the contributions consider both personal and communal memory. Drawing on psychology, neuroscience, memory studies, literary studies and philosophy, the critical essays reconsider psychogeography through cutting-edge sensory and philosophical engagements with physical space, smell, language and human behaviour. The creative contributions from writers including Liz Berry, Narinder Dhami, Anthony Cartwright, and Kerry Hadley-Pryce meditate on the senses, place, and identity. Not only does this book illustrate the rich cultural heritage of the Black Country, it will also appeal to those interested in place writing. The book is prefaced by Will Self.
'WHATEVER YOU DO hang on to the phone. . . . . . . . ! . . . . . . . . ! Feel the smoothness of its bevelled screen . . . . . . . . ! . . . . . . . . ! Place your thumb in the soft depression of its belly-button - turn it over and over. . . . . . . . ! . . . . . . . . ! A five hundred-quid worry bead - and all I worry about is losing the bloody thing. . . . . . . . ! . . . . . . . . !' For the four characters at the heart of Will Self's brilliantly acute novel of our times the five hundred-quid worry bead in their pocket may be both a blessing and a curse. For elderly Dr Zachary Busner it is a mysterious object - 'NO CALLER ID - How should this be interpreted? Is it that the caller is devoid of an identity due to some psychological or physical trauma?' - but also it's his life line to his autistic grandson Ben, whose own connection with technology is, in turn, a vital one. For Jonathan De'Ath , aka 'the Butcher', MI6 agent, the phone may reveal his best kept secret of all: that Colonel Gawain Thomas, husband, father, and highly-trained tank commander - is Jonathan 's long time lover. And when technology, love and violence finally converge in the wreckage of postwar Iraq, the Colonel and the Spy's dalliance will determine the destiny of nations. Uniting our most urgent contemporary concerns: from the ubiquitous mobile phone to a family in chaos; from the horror of modern war, to the end of privacy, Phone is Will Self's most important and compelling novel to date.
Provocateurs Will Self and Ralph Steadman join forces in this post-millennial meditation on the vexed relationship between psyche and place in a globalised world, bringing together for the first time the very best of their 'Psychogeography' columns for the Independent. The introduction, 'Walking to New York', is both a prelude to the verbal and visual essays that make up this extraordinary collaboration, and a revealing exploration of the split in Self's Jewish-American-British psyche and its relationship to the political geography of the post-9/11 world. Ranging from the Scottish Highlands to Istanbul and from Morocco to Ohio, Will Self's engaging and disturbing vision is perfectly counter-pointed by Ralph Steadman's edgy and beautiful artwork.
Shark turns upon an actual incident in WWII - mentioned in the film Jaws - when the ship which had delivered the fissile material to the south Pacific to be dropped on Hiroshima was subsequently sunk by a Japanese submarine with the loss of 900 men, including 200 killed in the largest shark attack ever recorded. When the Creep, an American resident in the 1970s at the therapeutic community in north London supervised by maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner, starts to tell rambling stories of thrashing about in the water while under attack from sharks, Busner has to decide whether they are schizoid delusions or some sort of reality.
Titles included in this collection include:Umbrella Walking to Hollywood The Butt Dr Mukti and other Tales of Woe How the Dead Live Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys
The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker - hilarious restaurant reviews by Booker nominee Will Self'Most food writing and restaurant criticism is concerned with the ideal, with how by cooking this, or dining there, you can somehow ingurgitate a new - or at any rate improved - social, aesthetic and even spiritual persona. I aimed to turn this proposition on its head, and instead of commenting on where and what people would ideally like to eat I would consider where and what they actually did: the ready meals, buffet snacks and - most importantly - fast food that millions of Britons chomp upon in the go-round of their often hurried and dyspeptic lives.'In this selection from his wickedly funny New Statesman Real Meals column, Will Self reviews the chains where most of us go to eat (KFC, Greggs, Yo! Sushi, Pizza Express and their like), delves into the ubiquitous Thai meal and Chicken Tikka Masala, and experiences hotel breakfasts, frozen TV dinners and airline food on our behalf. These are restaurant reviews of the kind you've never read before.Will Self is the author of nine novels including Cock and Bull; My Idea of Fun; Great Apes; How the Dead Live; Dorian, an Imitation; The Book of Dave; The Butt; Walking to Hollywood and Umbrella, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has written five collections of shorter fiction and three novellas: The Quantity Theory of Insanity; Grey Area; License to Hug; The Sweet Smell of Psychosis; Design Faults in the Volvo 760 Turbo; Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys; Dr. Mukti and Other Tales of Woe and Liver: A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes. Self has also compiled a number of nonfiction works, including The Undivided Self: Selected Stories; Junk Mail; Perfidious Man; Sore Sites; Feeding Frenzy; Psychogeography; Psycho Too and The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker.
Carol, the heroine of Cock, is extremely dissatisfied with her married life. Realisation that her husband Dan is not the man for her has come too late and insult follows injury as Dan's drinking problem gives way to an obsessive fervour for Alcoholics Anonymous. One evening while Dan is out, Carol discovers something entirely unexpected about herself that leads her into rather twisted and distinctly uncharted waters ... On the flip side, there is Bull. John Bull is a man's man. A rugby player, a drinker. He's also about to wake up to something of an anatomical surprise, a surprise that his doctor seems to be much more interested in than is entirely proper ...
When artist Simon Dykes wakes after a late night of routine debauchery, he discovers that his world has changed beyond recognition. His girlfriend, Sarah, has turned into a chimpanzee. And, to Simon's appalled surprise, so has the rest of humanity. Simon, under the bizarre delusion that he is 'human', is confined to an emergency psychiatric ward. There he becomes of considerable interest to eminent psychologist and chimp, Dr Zack Busner. For with this fascinating case, Busner thinks may finally make his reputation as a truly great ape.
Everything that makes Will Self's fiction so arresting and original is in evidence here in this collection of his best articles, book reviews and interviews from the Observer, the Guardian, the Independent, the Evening Standard and many more. Whether describing penis operations, narcotics or merely pondering the nature of slacking, these pieces are as witty and acerbic as one would expect from one of our foremost contemporary satirists.
The fictional world of Will Self is unlike any other. In The Quantity Theory of Insanity, we learn, amongst other things, the dark and terrible secret of Ward 9, why you are right to think that London is full of dead people and that each and every human being is caught up in a colossal balancing act between the sane and the insane ... The Quantity Theory of Insanity is acerbic, satirical, hilarious and, most of all, utterly unique in imaginative vision.
When Tom Brodzinski finally decides to give up smoking during a family holiday in a weird, unnamed land, a moment's inattention becomes his undoing. Flipping the butt of his last cigarette off the balcony of the holiday apartment, it lands on the head of the elderly Reggie Lincoln, and burns him. Despite Brodzinski's liberal attitudes and good intentions, the local authorities treat his action as an assault. Soon the full weight of the courts and tribal custom is brought to bear. What follows is a journey through a fantastically distorted world, a country that is part Australia, part Iraq and entirely the heart of distinctively modern darkness.
When the young Ian Wharton first meets Mr Broadhurst, he is completely unaware of the influence he will come to exert over his life as 'The Fat Controller' - a constant companion and confidant and also the obese, erudite manifestation of Ian's mental illness. As Ian's idea of fun becomes increasingly extreme, the reader is taken to a place where morality is eroded by the dull grind of modernity and everything becomes admissable.