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Liver: And Other Stories Paperback – 4 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140290575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140290578
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Peculiar, subtle, affecting and humane... It is a vertiginous, swooping vision that can lay London out like a body... It is all tremendous fun, and sometimes much more than that. Self has always had a blunt brilliance... These stories are busy with stylistic experiment, high-concept in-jokes, verbal impasto and flights of fancy which test the limits of narrative' - Justine Jordan, Guardian 'These tales are highly chthonic' - Nicholas Blincoe, Daily Telegraph 'This is what Self does best: snap-shots of decline and high-concept satires of the 'slapstick of addiction" - Ed King, Daily Telegraph 'Will Self is rightly admired for the sheer energy of his writing, his pyrotechnic wit and wordplay, and his willingness to experiment with genre and narrative... He is undoubtedly one of contemporary literature's showmen' - Peter Parker, Sunday Times 'All of Self's hallmarks are in place here: a prose style that scuds from the slangy to the hypertrophic and back; a keen sense of place; a sharp satirist's eye coldly cast on fashionable London; and a fondness for what might be called the High Concept' - Keith Miller, Times Literary Supplement '...satire so vicious it makes Charlie Brooker look restrained' - John O'Connell, Time Out '...no one can revel in the disease and decay of humanity like Will Self' - Ben East, Metro "Leberknodel" is the best fictional writing on Zurich since Kim Stanley Robinson's story named after the city' - Nicholas Royle, Independent 'As the literary equivalent of Francis Bacon, Will Self continually challenges readers with biological overload... Stepping into Self's world is like opening one of the Wellcome Institute's cabinets of medical curiosities... What counts most throughout is Self's enthralling, muscular and sometimes even joyous use of language. His writing propels one of the greatest arguments for freedom of speech that I can think of; you may not like his subject matter but his obsidian brilliance is incontrovertible, shocking and humane' - Christopher Fowler, Independent

About the Author

Will Self has earned his reputation through a body of innovative work - there's nobody quite like him writing today. He is the author of six novels, four collections of short stories, three novellas and five non-fiction works. As a journalist he has contributed to a plethora of publications over the years; he is also a regular broadcaster on television and radio. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mingo Bingo VINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've never been a huge fan of short stories, certainly not collections of them. Will Self is, however, an exception to this. The complexity of his prose and his verbal gymnastics have always been easier to consume in smaller chunks, often feeling oppressive over the length of a novel.

"Liver", subtitled 'a fictional organ with a surface anatomy of four lobes' comprises 4 short stories, loosely held together by the idea of the organ and what it means to us as humans. Of course, this being Will Self, this has a lot to do with spiralling addiction, the abasement of the soul and the dirty underbelly of London.

The first story, "Foie Humain", concerns itself with the revolting, alcoholic inhabitants of the Plantation Club, a private members club in Soho of the eighties. They bicker, abuse each other, abuse new comers and gradually drink themselves to death. This is what Will Self does best- the characters are as close to parody as you can get without becoming farce, but they are a gleefully drawn bunch of grotesques. The story is worth reading for their names alone, 'Her Ladyship', 'The Extra', 'His Nibs' and 'The Martian' and it is laugh out loud funny in parts.

The second, "Leberknodel", is a surprisingly sensitive and thoughtful piece about a terminally ill cancer patient on her way to Switzerland to commit assisted suicide. I had the pleasure of hearing Will Self read an extract from this at a literary festival, so when reading it I could hear every word in his rich and distinctive voice.

The third is a straight retelling of the "Prometheus" myth set in the world of advertising, which is effective, if a little obvious.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ANV on 30 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I normally love Will Self but I actually couldn't finish this. The characters just aren't likeable and the short stories are quite long for Self so there's less variety and if you don't enjoy them you're stuck with them for a while. Less balanced than most of his work- more miserable than funny.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Gadger on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised that only 2 people have already reviewed this book & that it has such a low rating - frankly it deserves more. All the usual hallmarks of a Will Self book are here - grotesque characters, bizarre wordplay & a steaming dollop of satire. If you've enjoyed other Will Self books, you will probably enjoy this one; if you hated other Will Self books, you'll probably hate this one too. & if you've never read a Will Self book, I suggest you give this one a go. I'd say it's represenative of his output (his books are all excellent if you like that kind of thing).
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LD Paludetto on 11 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I really like Will Self work on TV and newspaper, but this book really got me tired! I found it really hard to enjoy the reading as it goes on and on forever and nothing really happens. I have to agree with the other reviewer, it is a lot of verbal gymnastics, honestly, not for me!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris Payne on 3 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this item as a gift. I ordered a book and received a book so I'm content. Thank you
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