The FT said Phone is “A novel of grand ideas, powered by a ravenous curiosity about the role of the technological revolution in our private and public woes, Phone nonetheless bristles with anxiety about the abuse of ‘intelligence’ — in medicine, in warfare, in software, in love … [Self’s] hurricane of eloquence blows in terrific passages of satire, comedy, even suspense — not to mention his pitch-perfect ear for the jargons and lingoes of modernity.”
Listen to Will talking for about half an hour on Afternoon Edition (available for 28 days) on BBC Radio 5 live here at the 1hr 11 minute mark, taking in the “muted” general election, autism, how the smartphone has changed us and finishing his trilogy of modernist novels with Phone in which “a new technology is visited upon us and a new conflict ensues and what ensues from that … is a new form of mental illness”. He also reveals that he’ll be recording an audiobook of Phone and that his next book will be a memoir.
Wednesday 24 May: 6pm, International Literature Festival Dublin, Smock Alley Theatre, 6/7 Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin. (This event is being recorded for broadcast on The Book Show for RTÉ Radio 1.)
Tuesday 30 May: Radio 5 Live Afternoon Edition live interview. Later that evening, Radio 4 Front Row live interview.
Friday 2 June: 5.30pm, Hay festival, Tata Tent.
Tuesday 13 June: 7pm-8.30pm, Guardian Live in conversation with John Mullan, Islington Assembly Hall.
Thursday 29 June: 8pm, Hebden Bridge arts festival, Town Hall HX7 7BY.
Friday 30 June: 7pm, City Books, Ropetackle arts centre, High St, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.
Will Self is going to be joined by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Richard Burgon MP, Nigel Farage MEP, and Louise Mensch on Question Time tonight on BBC1 at 10.45pm.
I have a confession to make: I was approached by the people who brought the case in the high court over the government’s right to trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote. They asked me if I’d consider writing an independent opinion to be included in the dossier handed to the justices – and I declined. I can’t actually find the email I sent to them but the general tenor of my refusal was: ça suffit!
Headspace, the second edition of Prospect’s new monthly podcast, features Will Self debunking the “romance delusion”.
I wonder if Tom Watson and Paul Hollywood are the same person? I have never seen them in the same room together – neither in the devil’s kitchen of Westminster, nor in the heavenly Great British Bake Off marquee. Now the Parliamentary Labour Party is being forced to shift to the political equivalent of Channel 4, and the Cake Meister is going with. As with the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, so with Bake Off: the former presenters have departed, leaving behind the weird, judgmental, wrinkly old narcissist claiming the high ground of loyalty to the viewers – I mean members.
Listen to Will Self on his debut on Just a Minute on Radio 4 with Ross Noble, Sheila Hancock and Paul Merton here.