5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Who needs drugs.,
This review is from: The Quantity Theory of Insanity (Paperback)
The eponymous short in this collection is more brilliant than anything else Self has written since and is more than sufficient to recommend the book as a whole, (although “The Rock of Crack as Big as the Ritz” in “Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys” certainly shines with the same gibbering genius). Self’s characters are second cousins to the Londoners in Martin Amis’ novels but he moves them around a universe that is always shifted about two-inches to the left of our own. The stories twitch with absurdity and humour, like brilliant butterflies that are pinned to the page using sharp-as-a-tack observations. The protagonists are all cogs in a machine whose purpose they only vaguely comprehend, and their lives are frustrated and hyper-real. There is an energy to Self’s use of language, the way in which he plays with conventions and with the readers expectations, which is perhaps all too easily associated with his infamous infatuation with drugs. Allowing yourself to be swept-up by the electric imagination of his mainline prose is a form of chemical escapism in itself.