While making his first tours of the hospital at which he has just begun working, maverick psychiatrist Zachary Busner notices that many of the patients exhibit a strange physical tic: rapid, precise movements that they repeat over and over. One of these patients is Audrey Dearth, an elderly woman born in the slums of West London in 1890. Audrey’s memories of a bygone Edwardian London, her lovers, involvement with early feminist and socialist movements, and, in particular, her time working in an umbrella shop, alternate with Busner’s attempts to treat her condition and bring light to her clouded world.
"Invest the time needed to appreciate this book"
A British writer named Will Self goes on a quest through LA freeways and eroding English cliffs, skewering celebrity as he attempts to solve a crime: who killed the movies. A satirical novel of otherworldly proportion and literary brilliance, Walking to Hollywood is a fantastical and unforgettable trip through the unreality of our culture.
Some people lost their sense of proportion, others their sense of scale, but Simon Dykes, a middle-aged, successful London painter, has lost his sense of perspective in a most disturbing fashion. After a night of routine, pedestrian debauchery, traipsing from toilet to toilet, and imbibing a host of narcotics on the way, Simon wakes up cuddled in his girlfriend's loving arms. Much to his dismay, however, his girlfriend has turned into a chimpanzee.
Will Self reads from his introduction to Revelation, the final book of the Bible, which prophesises the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images, and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the 'Beast' will be destroyed, and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. The introduction is preceded by a reading from the book by Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh.
"Will Self Writes and Narrates this Intro."
Lily Bloom is an aging American transplanted to England who has lost her battle with cancer and lies wasting away at the Royal Ear Hospital. As her two daughters lumpy Charlotte, who runs a hugely successful chain of stationery stores called Waste of Paper, and beautiful Natasha, a junkiebuzz around her and the nurses pump her full of morphine, Lily slides in and out of the present, taking us on a surreal, opinionated trip through the stages of a lifetime of lust and rage.
Could modernity be an illness? Umbrella follows the story of Audrey Dearth, who fell victim to the encephalitis lethargic sleeping sickness epidemic at the end of the First World War and has been in a coma ever since. Arriving at the asylum she still lingers in, maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner becomes involved in an attempt to bring her back to life - with wholly unforeseen consequences.
"Probably a great story, but needs better narration"
May 4th, 1970. A week earlier President Nixon has ordered American ground forces into Cambodia to pursue the Vietcong. By the end of the day four students will be shot dead by the National Guard on the grounds of Kent State University. On the other side of the Atlantic, it's a brilliant sunny morning after an April of heavy rain, and at the "Concept House" therapeutic community he has set up outside London, maverick psychiatrist Dr. Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill-advised LSD trip.
"For advanced readers"
Henry Wotton, gay, drug addicted, and husband of Batface, the irrefutably aristocratic daughter of the Duke of This or That, is at the center of a clique dedicated to dissolution. His friend Baz Hallward, an artist, has discovered a young man who is the very epitome of male beauty - Dorian Gray. His installation Cathode Narcissus captures all of Dorian's allure, and, perhaps, something else.
These are stories that delve into the modern psyche with unsettling and darkly satiric results. "Inclusion" tells the story of a doctor who is illegally testing a new antidepressant made from bee excrement. "A Short History of the English Novel" brings us face to face with a pompous publisher who is greeted at every turn by countless rejected authors.
Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys is a new collection of corkscrewed tales from the author of Great Apes. The Guardian (London) describes Will Self as "a wayward genius", and you can find out why when you observe the author's pitiless dissection of the foibles of men, women, and the Volvo 760 Turbo.
4th May, 1970. President Nixon has ordered American ground forces into Cambodia. By the end of the day four students will be shot dead in the grounds of Kent State University. On the other side of the Atlantic, maverick psychiatrist Dr Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill advised LSD trip. Five years later, sitting in a nearby cinema watching Steven Spielberg's Jaws, Busner realizes the true nature of the events that transpired on that dread-soaked day.
It looks like it's going to be quite a Christmas for Richard Hermes, powdered with cocaine and whining with the white noise of urban derangement. Not so much enfolded as trapped in the bosom of the most venal media clique in London, Richard is losing it on all fronts: He's losing his heart to Ursula Bentley, a nubile and vacuous magazine columnist; he's in danger of losing his job at the pretentious listings magazine Rendezvous; he's losing his mind....
Will Self is one of the most important British novelists of his generation, and he is as acclaimed in the UK for his outstanding, daring journalism as he is for his fiction. Now finally available in America, Junk Mail is an original selection of pieces from Self's nonfiction and journalism that will introduce American listeners to Self as a literary journalist par excellence.
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.
Tom Brodzinski finally decides to give up smoking, but a moment's inattention to detail becomes his undoing. Flipping the butt of his final cigarette off the balcony of his holiday apartment it lands on the head of his fellow countrymen, Reggie Lincoln. The elderly Lincoln is badly burnt, and since the cigarette butt passed through public space before hitting him, the local authorities are obliged to regard Tom's action as an assault, despite his benign intentions.