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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Read But Worth It
Will Self is an author that is a bit hit and miss with people, people either love his quirky tales and devour him or people are put off by the fact that he can come across as being too clever or pompous he can also be seen as being dark and this book is quite bleak, well very bleak, but he is an author that if you work at reading you will get so much out of. `The Book of...
Published on 30 Jan 2009 by Simon Savidge Reads

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work - very amusing idea, but a difficult read.
Will Self is clearly highly intelligent and the premise for this book is both amusing and clever. Effectively, a cab driver, Dave, who is going through a tough time in his personal life, leaves a book that is discovered many years into the future when it is revered as some religeous iconographic document that leads to a race of "believers". It clearly has great comic...
Published on 18 July 2009 by Ripple


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12 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, unreadable, 21 May 2007
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This review is from: The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future (Paperback)
If this had been Will Self's first attempt as an unknown writer, it would never have been published. Of this we may be certain. Cumbersome, long-winded and full of phonetically rendered London-speak dialogue that would have most impartial readers reaching for the off-switch within two pages, this book is a testament to the undeserved literary success of the 21st century celebrity.

The central conceit is in itself an intriguing one - a disgruntled cabbie buries a record of his grievances, only for it to be discovered and mistaken for a religious text by future man, after Britain has been engulfed in a cataclysmic deluge that destroys the very fabric of society. You would expect this to signal the start of a vicious satire on the nature of religion and scriptures. It does so in a way that is barely satisfying and so mired in unnecessary sordidness as to render the exercise utterly pointless. And how hard Self makes his beloved reader work to even decipher his dialogue! Foolishly, I bought this book on the strength of that central conceit, and an admiration for Self's uncompromising persona as projected through his journalism and TV appearances. But his wretched repetition of loveless lives and illegible conversations meant that, after labouring through the first hundred pages, I merely flicked through the following hundred in the hope of finding some respite, then gave up altogether after another hundred. Self's barely concealed disdain for anything outside London - not to mention ordinary people - and his dreary racism (Japanese fares are never human, they are 'Japs') hardly endear me to him, either. Unfortunately, Self's own Dave-like fame and the unthinking sycophancy of the masses will ensure that this book remains a bestseller, as will anything else he carelessly cares to pen. There are many, many more deserving titles that will never reach the shelves of our bookstores.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riddley Walker inspired maybe - perhaps a more acute social critique., 5 Oct 2007
By 
Tifrap "tifrap" (Brighton, Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future (Paperback)
I am half way through The book of Dave. I came to it from re-reading Riddley Walker (which is forwarded by Will Self) and although I began with ideas of comparison, 'Dave' is most definitely its own book. As with RW it takes a chapter to get acclimatised, but now I am engrossed well enough and find myself preferring 'Dave' (something I never thought I would say).

I decided to add this review because I had an epiphany about the nature of Utopian/dystopian writing while reading dave. As a genre they are fascinating in as much as they set their own parameters to illustrate current issues through a contrast of opposites, even using cynicism to express optimism and vice versa.
Some classics such as "Riddley Walker" and "Utopia" itself are short elegant critiques of an entire cultural point of view at a given time and as such are fairly 'glossy' overviews.

Where I believe 'Dave' is extraordinary is in its precision and detail. Will self manages to expose large issues such as organised book based religion, commerce, exploitation and gender stereotyping to our consideration in true utopian style, but he also manages to pick out minutiae and do the same job on that too.
The range of scale that this book forces the reader to re-evaluate is unique in utopian writing, because of that it is easy to overlook the sheer wisdom (cynical or otherwise) that Mr Self brings to bear on considering life in 21st century London.

I now understand that he is a good soul that perhaps follows in the footsteps of Moore, (but hope he has a better end).

Incidentally there are a few sentences/statements in the book that deserve to be consigned to posterity.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wawow wiv me, Wiw!!, 1 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future (Paperback)
This is absolutely the best Will Self book I've read; it is a work of absolute genius, as ever! It reminds me of Great Apes in the way he has taken his social observations and turned them into a surreal fantasy which has left me aching due to protracted periods of laughter!!
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4 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More of a question, 19 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. D. C. Kerrigan "dom" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future (Paperback)
I have just heard about this book and wanted some help deciding whether to read it.

A novel of a dystopian future written in a twisted futuristic dialect. Isn't this a total rip-off of Riddley Walker which Russell Hoban wrote in 1980?
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