My Idea of Fun

My Idea of Fun

4.3 3
by Will Self, John Arden
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Will Self has established himself as one of the most brilliant, daring, and inventive writers of his generation. My Idea of Fun is Will Self’s highly acclaimed first novel. The story of a devilishly clever international financier/marketing wizard and his young apprentice, My Idea of Fun is both a frighteningly dark subterranean exploration of

See more details below

Overview

Will Self has established himself as one of the most brilliant, daring, and inventive writers of his generation. My Idea of Fun is Will Self’s highly acclaimed first novel. The story of a devilishly clever international financier/marketing wizard and his young apprentice, My Idea of Fun is both a frighteningly dark subterranean exploration of capitalism run rampant and a wickedly sharp, technically acute display of linguistic pyrotechnics that glows with pure white-hot brilliance. Ian Wharton is a very ordinary young man until he is taken under the wing of a gentleman known variously as Mr. Broadhurst, Samuel Northcliff, and finally and simply the Fat Controller. Loudmouthed, impeccably tailored, and a fount of bombastic erudition, the Fat Controller initiates Ian into the dark secrets of his arts — of marketing, money, and the human psyche — and takes Ian, and the reader, on a wild voyage around the edges of reality. As we careen into the twenty-first century, Self perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our times: money is the only common language; consumerism, violence, and psychosis (drug-induced and otherwise) prevail; and the human soul has become the ultimate product.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Employing vivid, jarringly unsavory imagery, richly erudite diction and a persuasive, engaging narrative voice, British novella and short-story writer Self ( Cock & Bull ) explores the elusiveness of reality and self-knowledge, the power of formative relationships and the blight of contemporary materialism in his provocative first novel. Part Faustian allegory, part hallucinatory bildungsroman , the book opens with troubled but strangely appealing narrator Ian Wharton, a successful London marketing executive, facing a small predicament. His newly pregnant young bride knows dangerously little of her husband, a psychiatric oddity whose past includes sadistic mutilation and pleasure killing. Should he enlighten her? While grappling with this dilemma, Wharton looks back at his boyhood with an overly affectionate single mother, his years under the guardianship of the malevolent Mr. Broadhurst (a.k.a. The Fat Controller) and his ostensible deprogramming by psychotherapist Dr. Hieronymous Gyggle. Self again proves a master of the grotesque, rendering every image with febrile intensity and positioning them in support of larger philosophical or psychological arguments. An eclectic vocabulary further enriches this ambitious, impressive narrative by a writer already named one of the Best of the Young British Novelists. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Ian Wharton's idea of fun is decapitating and then debauching elderly derelicts on the London tube. Or so says one of his selves in this often repulsive, ultimately fascinating commentary on the duality existent in the human psyche (i.e., as in De Quincey's dreamer, who ``finds housed within himself . . . some horrid alien nature'') and the seeming insanity of our time, when that alien nature seems too often to be running rampant. Burroughs-like in its hallucinatory approach, this novel also explores the nature of choice and of fate--those outside determinants, personified in Ian's ``Fat Controller'' (a character from the children's stories of W.V. Awdry), that impose themselves upon our lives. Under the tutelage of his particular mentor, Ian grows to lose all sense of guilt. That he turns to marketing as a profession is no accident either. Marketing is the ultimate influencing mechanism, whether we are talking about products or souls. There is a lot going on here, much of it strange and disturbing. Some will call it genius, others will call it self-indulgent (pun intended). It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. This first novel by one of Britain's rising stars belongs in the serious fiction section of academic and larger public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.-- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802142139
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/10/2005
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
309
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.83(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >