Matt Thorne

Anatomy of Four Lobes

Liver

By

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Although I’ve reviewed most major British and American literary novelists over the last ten years, until now I’ve always steered clear of writing about Will Self. This is largely because the temptation to trash him stems from an initial admiration: as a teenager I wolfed down The Quantity Theory of Insanity and Cock and Bull, and even went to see him read (when I rarely went to see writers read) from My Idea of Fun. But halfway through reading my inscribed copy back at home, I suddenly realised that, like many others, what I most admired about Self was the pose, not the prose. Self (like William Burroughs, a writer he admires) is perfect for adolescence, but as soon as you pass twenty, it’s impossible to read him. 

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