7 reader reviews
“Will Self borrows a gimmick used by Kafka, Borges, and in one not-very-succesful story by Fitzgerald (A Diamond as Big as the Ritz) and, to some extent, used in all science fiction. An impossible or supernatural event is treated naturalistically, or accepted deadpan without comment by the characters.(Isaac Asimov Magazine stories do this well).
Another trademark, reminiscent of the dirty Scottish shock-writers, is descriptions of drug and alcohol use from the point of view of the user. He also favors effects that used to be called Grand Guignol and are now called splatterpunk.
These devices are used as the hinges of his plots and the entertainment values of his stories often depends on how compelling you find them. Apart from them he is a witty and perceptive satirist with some wonderful prose such as his description of the small Suffolk town “landlocked by the shifting dunes of social trends” where “the landlords of the three desultory pubs on the main street drew pints for themselves in the cool, brown, afternoon interiors of their establishments.” – D.P. Birkett