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Customer Review

19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book Oscar wished he'd been allowed to pen, 22 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Dorian: An imitation (Paperback)
Despite the irritating shadow of the thesaurus hanging over Self's books, his quest to never repeat a word, evolves from irritation into a grudging admiration from this reader. His wild yet disciplined form can evade definition and frequently causes low level anxiety. Those deft turns at fantasy, that allow him to run with dark English shadows, like in 'My Idea of Fun', with the literal application of childhood jokes, and in the gruesome hysteria of 'How the Dead Live', are lessened in 'Dorian'. Yet in 'Dorian', he has congealed this text into something that is more - dare I say - conventional in format. That's not to say that this book doesn't juxtapose hilarity with extreme violence, but that the formation of the story is happier to sit in a more conventional box.
In particular his characters are spectacularly enjoyable, and in particular I had a happy bonding to Henry Wotton, despite or perhaps because of his moral tendency to sit on the fence without getting splinters up his arse, whilst he cheerfully zones out of the world with yet more opiates. In contrast to a cosy bedding down with Henry, I watched in open-mouthed-horrified fascination at Dorian's emotionless foray into that unfashionable zone of evil.
This book was another example of why I shouldn't buy work that I suspect I'll love. Bought on Saturday. Finished by Sunday. A complete waste of £7.99 in terms of longevity of reading. Ignored food, work, sex and play. Would Will call Dorian's bluff? Would Ginger wreak his revenge, Ah yes, Oh No!
Dorian achieves loudly which Will Self girlishly wished for in response to Craig from Big Brother's being added to the ranks of a heartthrob for the gay world, - it will confirm his status as a gay icon. And he doesn't do so badly with the girls, stop with that tongue in cheek picture you put on all publishing back covers - We KNOW what you're insinuating.
If you haven't read any Will Self before, this will be a romping little jaunt through bloodletting, amoral sexuality, beautiful boys, raddled aristocratic harridans, a jiggling man, drug taking and the superlative fencing and parading of the English language. Get addicted. It’s the only way forward.
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