“Will Self’s just flashed me …”

The Scotsman’s verdict on Walking to Hollywood: “There must be a word – I don’t know it but Will Self will – meaning envy of eloquence, jealousy of the ability to use a large vocabulary convincingly to make the reader’s mind bounce around different levels of reality. That’s one reason Self remains such an engaging writer: the other is that underneath even his weirdest imaginings lies the kind of truths that can only be absorbed through a pair of walking feet.”

For the full review, go here

Devilish Business on the South Downs

A curious incident on the South Downs: driving my eldest son and his stuff down to his new rented accommodation in Brighton, prior to his second year at Sussex University, we pulled the van off the motorway and drove up towards Devil’s Dyke. I wanted to show Lex the Dyke, and also his youngest brother, Luther, who was along for the ride. My own father used to take me up here on the weekends we spent in Brighton at my grandparents’ house on Vernon Terrace, and he would always tell the folk tale about how the Dyke was dug by the Devil to flood the Sussex Weald, but that he was surprised in the middle of the night by an old woman cotter lighting her oil lamp, and taking it for the dawn he jumped all the way to the North Downs where he landed forming the Devil’s Punchbowl on impact.

Walking to Hollywood tour dates

Some forthcoming tour dates with Will Self talking about Walking to Hollywood:

September 7 at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham, West Sussex. Details here.

September 9 at the SW11 festival in London. Details here.

September 13 at Arnolfini, Bristol. Details here.

September 14 at Topping books in Bath. Details here.

September 17 at Cambridge Arts Centre. Details here.

October 4 at Clapham Bookshop, 7pm. More details here.

October 11, Ilkley literature festival. Details here.

Edinburgh book festival

Will Self is going to be at the Edinburgh book festival at 9.30pm on Sunday August 29 and will be reading from and talking about his new book, Walking to Hollywood (which can be ordered from Amazon here). Titled “The dreams and fantasies of an obsessive-compulsive flâneur”, the event costs £10 (£8 concessions).

“Self’s mordant satire is at the peak of its form in a new triptych, Walking to Hollywood, a potent mixture of memoir and invention, which centres on his passion for wandering on foot around cities. Eventually Self decides to take a walk on British land that is about to be consumed by the sea.”