Listen to Will Self in conversation with Michael Cathcart during the Melbourne writers festival here, taking in Shark, the future of the novel and much else besides.
Great interview with Will Self, shark expert Gareth Fraser and film critic Ian Hunter on Radio 3 about sharks, whales and the impact of the book and film Jaws.
Watch Will Self talking about a care home for the novel, rather than death, the meaning of his novella Leberknödel and much more:
Also, Will gave a reading from his latest novel, Shark, which is published in paperback on 5 March by Penguin:
Listen to Will Self give a reading from Shark and taking questions at the LRB bookshop recently, here.
Shark is published in hardback by Grove Atlantic in the US today, RRP $26:
“May 4, 1970. A week earlier, President Nixon ordered American ground forces into Cambodia to pursue the Vietcong. By the end of the day, four students will be shot dead by the National Guard on the grounds of Kent State University. On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s a brilliant sunny morning after an April of heavy rain, and at the “Concept House” therapeutic community he has set up in the London suburb of Willesden, maverick psychiatrist Dr. Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill-advised LSD trip with several of its disturbed residents. Five years later, sitting in a nearby cinema watching Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Busner realizes the true nature of the events that transpired on that dread-soaked day, when a survivor of the worst disaster in the U.S. Navy’s history—the sinking of the USS Indianapolis—came face-to-face with the British Royal Air Force observer on the Enola Gay’s mission to bomb Hiroshima.
“Loosely following on from his Man Booker–shortlisted Umbrella, Shark continues Self’s exploration of the complex relationship between human psychopathology and human technological progress and, like Umbrella, weaves together multiple narratives across several decades of the twentieth century to produce the tapestry we’re enmeshed in.”
Publishers Weekly says: “Self’s novel is a worthy follow-up [to Umbrella], and comes as close to capturing the frightening bad trip of modern life as any book in recent memory.”
For more information, visit groveatlantic.com.
To order a copy from Amazon at $19.71, go here.
Listen to Will Self talking about Shark on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show in Ireland here.
The Financial Times: “… an intoxicating experience. Self’s powerful command of language animates the intense prose while his dry wit is given a freer rein than in Umbrella. Shark drives remorselessly on; it takes us with it.”
The Mail on Sunday: “Self is on a mission to revive modernist fiction and newcomers will find the text, excised of paragraphs and most punctuation, tough at first. But it is unmatched for vibrancy and sensation, and befits the novel’s raw, disturbing subjects – the traumatised lives that orbit Dr Busner’s therapeutic community.”
Esquire: “… a dazzling feat: one in which metaphors morph into memories and sentences are swilled around and intermingled like fish guts in a chum bucket.”
The Independent: “Shark will challenge and disturb, exasperate and entertain. Self’s prose demands real attention, but is never less than sharp, biting and incisive. Prepare to be eaten whole.”
The Sunday Times: “Self’s ugly, sinuous and ceaselessly inventive prose does an exceptional job of evoking consciousness, the mind’s ‘wriggling little thoughtfish’. Formally, he achieves a masterly balance of surface chaos and underlying design, creating an intricate tattoo of linked shark and nuclear imagery, just as his phrases echo and rhyme and connect. Overall, Shark generates a dream-like synthesis of rational and irrational, familiar and strange.”