How The Dead Live – New York Times

Tom Shone, October 2000

“Will Self’s new novel consists of a monologue by a Jewish mother who goes by the name of Bloom. So naturally, the first thing you do upon picking up the book is flick to the final page to see what the last word is. And sure enough, instead of ”yes” — the word used by James Joyce to end ”Ulysses” — we find the contemporary negative ”Not,” as used by Mike Myers in his canonical postmodern masterpiece, ”Wayne’s World.” A serious literary allusion, or a snickering joke? A dialogue with a classic or mere punkish self-adornment — the literary equivalent of Johnny Rotten wearing a T-shirt of Queen Elizabeth? Practiced Self readers will know that the answer is all of the above, with a good helping of impudence thrown in for good measure.”

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