How The Dead Live – Guardian Review

Elaine Showalter, June 2000

In How the Dead Live, Self has transformed one part of this premise into a full-length account of necropolitan London. In his satiric geography, the young dead – the “morbidly mobile” – go to find work in the States or the Gulf, but the older dead simply live on either north of the river in Dulston or south of the river in Dulburb, their placements assigned by the Deatheaucracy Office. Their mornings are busy with the Full Dead breakfast and their evenings filled with the 12-step meetings of PD (Personally Dead). Freddy Ayer, Ronny Laing and Laurence Olivier have Dulston flats; almost all the dead smoke, drink, and sleep around, and all they need to keep up with the urban deathstyle of the rich and famous is Goodbye! magazine.

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