read & download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook à Will SelfWriting is typically a poor craftsman He just seems to lose interest in his stories characters and especially his conceitsreturnreturnSelf has said in his stories characters and especially his conceitsreturnreturnSelf has said the past that he s really a novelist of ideas but he s not even willing to carry through with serious effort on those either as far as I can see It would seem to me that he thinks himself a satirist but wants to be celebrated by precisely the people he wants to satirize So he always or less pulls his punches giving everyone in the book the excuse of our general existential plight and trying to recoup his edginess through graphic descriptions of bodily functions dysfunctionsreturnreturnIt just doesn t fly the decay of our bodies we have to live with mindlessness fecklessness and cruelty we can do something about But seriously taking the satiric lash to those would mean attacking his own shallow celebrants Too bad really that he hasn t the courage to do that This is my 100th book reviewThe last time I read a book by Will Self I didn t like it I actually gave it 1 out of 5 stars But somehow I find myself reaching for another book by Will Self and decided to give him another chance And this chance was rather interesting and intriguing as a matter of factSo instead of a novel I picked p Liver A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes This is a short storynovella collection than a novel It contains four tales and each of these tales has something to do with each other and the characters relate and connect to the other characters in the other stories Most importantly however all short stories have something to do with the liver This perhaps is the most bizarre and yet most interesting facet of this book After all who writes a story about someone s liverThe first story is entitled Foie Humain and without giving everything away this perhaps was a very good introduction to the series The story is told from the perspective of an innocent bystander and because of that the story feels like it lacks direction at times this happens to be the main reason why I hated the latest Will Self book I read All the bystander does is narrate what is happening in a certain pub in SoHo However at a sudden twist in the end one realizes that one has just read the most bizarre and disturbing short story ever involving an alien with a rather interesting appetite Think French haute cuisineThe second story is entitled Leberkn del and this is the story of an old lady with liver cancer who is originally from Britain but goes to Switzerland to ndergo assisted suicide Her daughter is one of the regulars in the bar in SoHo that was mentioned in the first story The interesting thing is that the old lady decides not to kill herself and because of that her body seems to be rejuvenating to the point that people around her thinks that she is a miracle This starts a huge religious fiasco with priests trying to prove that a miracle has happened and therefore someone new should be canonized as a saintThe third story is another bizarre one It tells the story of Prometheus who according to ancient Greek mythology is this Titan who is punished by Zeus because he "stole fire from the Gods and gave it to humans His punishment involved a bird eating his liver every night "fire from the Gods and gave it to humans His punishment involved a bird eating his liver every night he is tied to a rock and his liver grows back again However what is different here is that Prometheus and the rest of the characters in Greek mythology are living in modern day London Zeus is this corporate head and Prometheus is. Dwinter and the shivering denizens of this dusty realm spend their days observing its proprietor as he force feeds the barman vodka spiked beer Joyce Beddoes protagonist of Leberkndel has terminal liver cancer and is on her way to be euthanized in Zurich when miraculously her disease goes into remission In Prometheus a young copywriter at London's most cutting edge ad agency has his liver nibbled by a griffon thrice daily but he's always. Not a happy book but then again most people don t realise they even have a liver ntil it s in distressthis is the sort of book you won t realize is a novel For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde until the very endeverything is connected The media around Will Self s fiction suggests that he is carving out is own niche in the market This is the second Self book I ve read along with the Book of Dave and I agree he does offer something different to anything else mainstream Liver is effectively four mutually exclusive stories that are connected by the largest organ in the body the stories themselves have immaterial crossover Disease addiction feature Of the four lobes the This was my least favorite Will Self book but for a guy who normally writes books as well he does that doens t mean a lot These were longish stories 4 that filled an entire book and one of them the boring one was way longer than the others Still an awesome book though Though I keep going back to this author I really have to wonder about his state of mind The most mundane of objects are described in gross corporeal terms In Foie Humain a carpet is the color of middle aged shit while in Leberknodel water rivulets bleed across the airplane window and the rivet heads are described as a pimplesurrounded by a ring of infective rust Self s writing has a way of creepingp on you as an accretion of disgust At precisely the moment you start recoiling from the coarse descriptors and the book s cast of rejects the author reminds even admonishes you not to judge the characters or their detestable surroundingsOh and did I mention what must be an absolutely record inclusion of the word cunt I d read a couple of Self s short stories before I forget which ones and been impressed by their inventiveness But here it seems to me that Self is a great writer without much of a story to tell On the cover of the edition I read is a Scary Stories 3 uote from a review by the Independent that states What counts most is Self s enthralling muscular and joyousse of language and I would agree with that main sentiment but to the extent that I think that there s really not much point to this beyond the occasional linguistic marvel I think muscular is ite an appropriate adjective for Self s writing here it s robust and corporeal with a grotesue twist kind of like a literary euivalent of that subset of Cronenberg films whose business is body horror But enthralled I wasn t the first of the four stories bored and annoyed me in eual measure and although part of Self s intention may have been to highlight how vapid and irritating middle class alcoholics are to do so by boring and irritating your audience into oblivion seems a bit like overkill The second story has a far interesting premise but then "doesn t go anywhere after the crucial point is passed The third I suspect went mostly over my head "t go anywhere after the crucial point is passed The third I suspect went mostly over my head was either therefore or merely simultaneously barely diverting and the fourth I again found pointless nenlightening and yes irritating too I really did find little here of worth in the way of plot character or insight And the way that Self can string words together although very impressive didn t offset that I do plan to read of his work in the
Future As The Potentialas the potential greatness is clear but I ll be hoping for much sustenance for my efforts Self is an interesting writer I think he s honestly interested in the existential estions this collection centers on but there s a lot missing For one thing Self while capable of some really good. In this collection of four linked stories newly reissued by Grove Will Self takes aim at the disease and decay that target the largest of human organs the liver Set in locales as toxic as a London drinking club and mundane as a clinic in an orderly Swiss city the stories distill the hard lives of their subjects whether alcoholic drug addict or cancer patient In Foie Humaine set at the Plantation Club it's always a Tuesday afternoon in mi. ,
Tono Bungay universe when there are so many things that one has already violated There have been too many pieces of common sense that has been thrown out the window However in the short story genre the amount is just rightSo I enjoyed reading this book I think I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars Dual UK and US citizen Will Self wrote three stories and a novella interconnected by both characters and the titular metabolic organ The first story Foie Humane italics his applies an Outer Limits twist to an otherwise scatological series of er hur hur hee vintnerettes featuring the drunken denizens of The Plantation Club The second story the novella Leberknodel italics his is a remix of elements from his much praised novel How the Dead Live an old woman wrestles with issues of mortality and its epilogue despite the nagging presence of her issue a wasted artiste daughter The third story Prometheus reimagines the world of advertising executives with characters from the Greek pantheon Imagine for a moment Don Draper sitting in the Men s Room biting on a wad of plush white tissue as a Skeksisian vulture nibbles on his rib kibbleThe fourth story Birdy Num Num is aboutwell it s about waiting for the man in a decidedly grottynderground sans a swatch of velvet in sight The main character a junkie empowered by his junkiness but by no means is he His Junkyness lives in a headworld wherein every day is The Party That is The Party starring Peter Sellers and directed by Blake Edwards This story the narrator explains is a sort of investigative procedural Somebody is done in Is somebody done in Somebody is And then catches a late jet to Helsinki To hell e sinks e Scene from The Party I found this collection rather showy and stilted I m afraidUpdate 20711I read this book on a hot bus a startlingly hot bus listening to hissy Beatles via a fat man s headphones I really love the brutal satire of late 70 s gay demi mondes spoofed here though especially on this reading November 2009In Foie Humaine it s always a Tuesday afternoon at the Plantation Club the most cunt filled private pub in London and proprietor Val Carmichael the cunt is drowning the barman s liver in vodka and he might succeed if his own liver that is doesn t fail him first Elsewhere in Leberkn del a woman with terminal liver cancer goes to Zurich to end her own life only to mysteriously miraculously recover after changing her mind An advertisor in Prometheus re enacts an old Greek myth much to the delight of a liver eating vulture and in Birdy Num Num everyone in Tony Riley s little drug den especially Billy Chobham is completely fucked Up Just Ask The Virus just ask the virus s infected them allI ve heard of Will Self and remember seeing a few of his story collections in stores but I just In the pink the following morning and ready to make that killer pitch If blood and bile flow through liverish London the two arteries meet in Birdy Num Num where career junky Billy Chobham performs little services for the customers who gather to wait for the Man while in his blood a virus pullulates A moving portrayal of egos appetites and addictions Liver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most talented minds working today.