I found references to this book one day while browsing through amazon.co.uk. I found it interesting enough to give it a go. When I started reading it I couldn't put it down and now I must say it is one of my favourite books!
Will Self assembled a collection of short stories, all about insanity in one form or the other.
Taken individually, there are here some very well-written stories, from the dark and weird "Ward 9" to the pseudo-cientific and very funny "Quantity Theory of Insanity" or the last end-of-century-philosophy of "Waiting".
But it's when you take the book as a whole that it truly surprises you. I read the opening story and I thought that it was funny, but it seemed more of a prelude than a part of the book, especially when I finished reading the second story, which had a totally different mood. It was only on the third or fourth story that I realised that there was a reference to one of the previous ones. And by the end of the book, even the prelude made sense after all.
Will Self tied all of his stories together, so this doesn't feel like just a collection of stories, if feels like we are looking at another universe, his universe, a cohese and rational universe. Which makes it really thought-provoking - the events are funny, but so real that make you think: are we really like this?
And that's the whole point, I suppose.
A great great book, don't miss it!