It's 1988, and Lily Bloom, a 65-year-old American, lies dying of cancer in a London hospital. As her two daughters buzz around her and the nurses pump her full of morphine, she slides in and out of consciousness, outraged that there is so little time left and so many people still to disparage. As she begins her journey to the other world, she reflects on her husbands, her children, her entire life.
©2000 Will Self (P)2011 WF Howes Ltd
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"Truly wonderful book"
This is a great book; clever, witty and challenging, His central character is a monster but against your will you understand and sympathise with her, The experience of the book is enhanced even further by the fabulous performance by Buffy Davis-if there is an award for book performance, she should get it.
"Better than The Bible"
Will Self has a talent for looking at a subject from new perspectives. If the Bible is written to give comfort and information concerning death then god should have aksed Will Self to write it. The story follows a woman as she approaches death, dies, lives after death, is reincarnated and dies again.
His style , leaves you unsure of where the plot is going and why its going there. Consequently every word is read carefully and searched for meaning. As one does so, death the most emotive of subjects is explored and the messages are dripped in.
The conclusion to me - death is no big deal, it is living happily that is the trick.
While Lily was still alive and spouting her hateful diatribes against anyone and anything, I found myself wishing her dead.
Then she died and it was all downhill from there.
"Mad but fascinating"
I especially liked the energy of the language as well as the originality of the story. I'd probably never have listened to more than one hour had I not been blown away by the power and the excitement of the text: i found it unputdownable and often listened far into the night when I should have been asleep. The story seemed quite mad but eventually it made sense in a very satirical way. I don't think it's for everybody though. The reader was superb!
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