A baby speaks in business German A colony of flies forms an ecosystem in a stressed husband s loft A pedophile wins a literary prize What could you want It feels difficult to like Will Self sometimes because he enjoys using pompous language, he likes to pontificate and enunciate, to detail and complicate And yet this is the same reason why it s hard to dislike him, because in the end it still works and you re left with some fun, strange and unusual stories.I m not sure how it is for native speakers, but I do find myself reaching for the dictionary when reading his works, which can disturb the flow sometimes but otherwise, in spite of his style of writing, you can keep at it and it falls into place it s work that you enjoy You go through the rough jungle of his short prose and machete away the complicated vine like sentences, jump over those cumbersome word trunks that stand in your way and you got yourself a memorable literary adventure.It s a 7 10 for me, which I ll round up to 4 5. My mouse pointer hesitates over the recommend to friends button, not because I didn t thoroughly enjoy this book with every Self title I read I immediately want to read he surprises at every turn, his prose snicker snacks electrically across the page but yes, he s verbose and very British and I live in, well, America The hesitation is because he s challenging and therefore all the rewarding but some readers might not be looking for this sort of a challenge But screw it My mouse will punch that recommend button, big words be damned At the bar the other day I discovered that an American acquaintance enjoys reading Self Sure, it helps to be not a little dark of mind with a predilection for drug culture, surrealism, and dark humour , but Self s work stands on its own bent laurels with a logic all its own but sound nonetheless.I disagree with the reviewer above who found The Nonce Prize weak and an unnecessary response to Crack Rock as Big as the Ritz Amazing, intricate stuff The blurbs compare him to Vonnegut, etc Flattering indeed, but I think his lineage descends directly frm Swift by way of Ballard Top shelf stuff. 4.5 5 stars, only because two of the stories in the middle aren t as amazing as 3 4 of the book.This is my introduction to a writer I suspect I will cherish as I do an Eggers, or Saunders, and for essentially the same reasons Caring, Sharing in particular blew me away satirical, dark, incisive, incredibly inventive I will now begin working my way through Will Self s other works Very highly recommended for lovers of contemporary and or dark fiction. 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 This was my first Will Self book and remains one of my favorites It was an excellent presage for the other books I d read by him and contains some amazing stories that I find myself still thinking about years later Every story here is interesting, and like a lot of his work, you don t necessarily pick up every nuance on the first read I think Design Faults in the Volvo 760 Turbo is a great story, but it s one that at first bored me a bit Every single thing I ve read by Self has either entertained me or at least added to the lexicon of facts and words I keep in my cranium As an introduction to this guy s work, his ability to freak you out, and his amazing far ranging talent I think this book is top notch Having read all of his stuff I d say that Great Apes is my favorite, but perhaps it s the stories that make the most me the most uncomfortable are the ones which have the most hidden nuggets of knowledge to impart.I have repeatedly skipped over Flytopia when re reading this book because it creates the reality so thoroughly for me that I can t bear to participate in it Is that impressive than a story which I merely enjoy Either way, this book and just about any other Will Self book is worth the time of anyone who is ready to be challenged and entertained and potentially feel a bit nauseousEnjoy Interesting collection of short stories some of them interlinked with interesting twists Suffers a bit from Will Self s addiction to obscure language. I was attracted to Will Self by his reputation as an absurdist writer Some of his concepts here were interesting However I found his style to be over literary, which these days feels clunky to me. I enjoyed the first story in this collection of short stories, but as with much of Self s fiction I just gave up It s not that the prose is bad, it s very well written in fact, but it just doesn t appeal to me His style is quite absurdist and full of odd metaphors, whereas I like realist narratives Please don t let my review put you off, particularly if you are a fan of Self s works So far I have only enjoyed one of the three books of his that I ve picked up, but only because his style and content doesn t speak to me.The two stars is only relative to my feelings towards the book, and not indicative of the standard of writing As they are short stories, it is worth giving them a go if you do happen across a copy. interesting use of vocab Educational even.good construction beginnings, middles and ends entertaining sure I suppose But I didn t like much like this book I put it down after a few stories and didn t want go back.I will try to put a finger on why Perhaps there was something a bit too clever about this writing Something that didn t warm the cockles of my heart didn t resonate on an emotional human level Others may strongly disagree.sorry.
William Self is an English novelist, reviewer and columnist He received his education at University College School, Christ s College Finchley, and Exeter College, Oxford He is married to journalist Deborah Orr.Self is known for his satirical, grotesque and fantastic novels and short stories set in seemingly parallel universes.
- 256 pages
- Tough, Tough Toys For Tough, Tough Boys
- Will Self
- 19 August 2018 Will Self