The Undivided Self: Selected Stories
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Since the release of his first story collection in 1991, Will Self has been hailed as a master of the short story. Now, for the first time, selected stories from his five highly praised collections will be available in one volume, introduced by Rick Moody. These stories, drawn from The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Gray Area, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys, Dr. Mukti and Other Tales of Woe, and Liver―plus one story never before published―give us unexpected comic twists, masterful language, and the ordinary colored by the absurd: a man who finds his mother walking in a London suburb ten months after her death; the odd nuances of a drab office worker's daily routine; and a send-up of the British elite that takes place after a carcinogenic fog blankets England. Compared favorably to Nabokov, Pynchon, Gaddis, Ballard, and DeLillo, Will Self is a bold satirist whose selected stories represent some of the best and most outrageous fiction of the last decade.
where his car was parked in the middle of the town square. As he gained the herringbone of white lines that designated the parking area, Simon-Arthur felt a whooshing sensation behind him. He turned to see the 320 bus bearing down on the stop outside Marten’s. Observing the way the rows of yellow windows shone through the murky air, he jolted into greater haste. Darkness was coming; and with it the great bank of fog, that had hung two hundred feet above the ground all day, was beginning to
adopted a serious expression. ‘I’m afraid she gets Brompton’s now.’ ‘Oh, I see. Well, that’s too bad. Anyway, come in now, come in here to the drawing room, where it’s warm.’ Simon-Arthur ushered Dave-Dave into a long room that took up half of the Brown House’s ground floor. Dave-Dave could see at once that this was where the family spent the bulk of their time. There were two separate groupings of over-stuffed armchairs and sofas, one at either end of the room. Mahogany bookcases went clear
heard of his father,’ Busner’s face purpled at the edges with sentimentality, ‘who was a contemporary of mine and a dear friend. So it’s an especial pleasure for me that Misha should be joining us on the ward as the new art therapist …’ ‘Wait till you hear what happened to the old art therapist …!’ Before I had had time to wheel round in my chair and see who had whispered in my ear, Tom was gone, soft-shoe shuffling down the corridor. From then on the meeting deteriorated into the usual trivial
where the only good newsagent in Darwin kept newspapers, three and four days old, from around the world. So it was, standing amongst men with elephant-skin crotches of sweated, bunched, denim shorts, that I read, while they scratched at Tatsalotto cards, the plastic shavings falling around their thongs. The news was all of strange theatrical events of extreme violence. The newspaper editors published programme notes, replete with heavy black arrows, and the sort of drawings of men wearing
quaking body like a strait-jacket, I had no difficulty at all in interpreting the dream. To the Bathroom ‘Like, we’re considering the historic present –?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘And David says, “I want to go to the bathroom.’” ‘Yeah.’ ‘So, like we all accompany him there and stuff. Cos in his condition it wouldn’t like be a … be a – ’ ‘Good idea for him to be alone?’ ‘Yeah, thassit. So we’re standing there, right. All four of us, in the bathroom, and David’s doing what he has to do. And we’re