The Book of Dave : A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future Paperback
by Will Self
"The Book of Dave" is Booker-shortlisted author Will Self's dazzling sixth novel.
What if a demented London cabbie called Dave Rudman wrote a book to his estranged son to give him some fatherly advice?
What if that book was buried in Hampstead and hundreds of years later, when rising sea levels have put London underwater, spawned a religion?
What if one man decided to question life according to Dave? And what if Dave had indeed made a mistake? Shuttling between the recent past and a far-off future where England is terribly altered, "The Book of Dave" is a strange and troubling mirror held up to our times: disturbing, satirizing and vilifying who and what we think we are.
At once a meditation upon the nature of received religion, a love story, a caustic satire of contemporary urban life and a historical detective story set in the far future - this compulsive novel will be enjoyed by readers everywhere, including fans of Martin Amis and Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange". "Vivid, visceral and breathtakingly ambitious, this is Self's best yet". ("GQ"). "Mindboggling ...darkly hilarious...A fascinating book". ("Evening Standard"). Will Self is the author of nine novels including "Cock and Bull"; "My Idea of Fun"; "Great Apes"; "How the Dead Live"; "Dorian, an Imitation"; "The Book of Dave"; "The Butt"; "Walking to Hollywood" and "Umbrella", which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
He has written five collections of shorter fiction and three novellas: "The Quantity Theory of Insanity"; "Grey Area"; "License to Hug"; "The Sweet Smell of Psychosis"; "Design Faults in the Volvo 760 Turbo"; "Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys"; "Dr. Mukti and Other Tales of Woe" and "Liver: A Fictional Organ" with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes. Self has also compiled a number of nonfiction works, including "The Undivided Self: Selected Stories"; "Junk Mail"; "Perfidious Man"; "Sore Sites"; "Feeding Frenzy"; "Psychogeography"; "Psycho Too" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker".
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 512 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/03/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141014548
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by Kore
I found this very disappointing. The violence was unnecessarily graphic. The language and style both tiresome. These were the very elements that made Clockwork Orange so compelling. Not what I would have hoped.
Review by michaeldwebb
I only read half this book. But I didn't give up half way through - I read every other chapter. Sounds odd? Let me explain. The story alternates, with one chapter being set in the future, where people have a religion based on the 'Book of Dave' - a book written by deranged cab driver Dave, and the next chapter being the story of Dave.I hated the chapters set in the future. The problem for me was that Self used a kind of made up half English/half Davespeak language, and I just couldn't read it. It just didn't click with me - I just found it really unpleasant and frustrating to read. This kind of thing worked brilliantly in, say, Clockwork Orange, but Self just got it wrong as far as I can tell. So I just ignored every other chapter. The chapters set in the present, telling Dave's story were great, visceral, funny, moving, and luckily standalone as a story. I really, really enjoyed the Dave chapters.Ironically I got this book on a buy one get one half price deal, so it was half price, so I didn't really mind only reading half the book.
Review by Steph78
I quite like post apocalypse literature, and was looking forward to reading this. Some of the ideas were fairly interesting, but in the end it wasn't the fairly impenetrable and pretension language that spoiled this for me, it was the complete unlikability of the major characters - Dave being a prime example. Not a book I would recommend.
Review by fothpaul
Very slow going at the start as I got used to the style and the Mockni language of the future residents of Ham. I felt the sections with the motos were excellent, I really felt for them, even at an early stage of the book. I really enjoyed the ending of both of the seperate narratives, but found the begginning too tough going to be able to give it a higher rating. I certainly would recommend it though.