Will Self

Novelist and columnist, with his own unique style and outlook, known for his outspoken views ...

Will Self biography and information

The Self novel is easily identifiable. Look out for inevitable psychologists (there is always a psychologist, even if his/her occupation has no bearing on the story) and profligate use of heroin and cocaine. Self's prose is constructed from an illimitable, arcane and elevated vocabulary leading to passages suffused with sesquipedalian circumlocution and interminably long, sudorific sentences which can stultify and discourage some readers with their linguistic verbiage and precocity. Also he likes to use the words 'shibboleth' and 'gallimaufry' quite often. He is still alive and writes prolifically. Most importantly, he is one of the most brilliantly imaginative novelists of his generation.

In Great Apes an artist awakens to find he, and all of humanity, have mystifyingly become chimps overnight. In How The Dead Live, a Joycean heroine discovers the after-life is much the same as actual life, except you have to move to a special part of North London, attend therapy sessions, and try not to bump into your grieving relatives in Waitrose. Dorian sees Wilde's Dorian Gray updated and set in the drug-fuelled world of 80s homosexutopia, but with lots of smack and high comedy. Tough Tough Toys For Tough Tough Boys is the finest of his short-story collections and Cock And Bull is a double 'A' side of novellas where a man grows a vagina behind his knee and a woman grows a lovely penis of her very own. Not for mum.

Self is on telly a lot, knows really great long words to impress your friends with, writes in a matter-of-fact way about outrageous things and has been a very naughty boy in his time.

Book and writing awards

The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award (1992); How the Dead Live, shortlisted for Whitbread Novel of the Year in (2002).

Similar authors to Will Self

JG BallardWilliam BurroughsMartin Amis and .

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Books by Will Self

Phone
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Umbrella
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Shark
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The Book of Dave
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Dorian
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£8.99
Psychogeography
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Great Apes
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Liver
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The Butt
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Cock and Bull
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How the Dead Live
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Walking to Hollywood
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LABYRINTH
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Shark
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Grey Area
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We're talking about...

The Quantity Theory of Violence - Will Self

Posted on 25th May, 2013

Will Self's emphasis on writing for his characters is what confuses critics...