How the Dead Live (Will Self) Paperback – 31 Aug 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a great thrill attached to reading as you pass through puberty and into your late teens and early twenties. You experience with intense pleasure the transfer of someone else's thoughts from the page into your mind, especially when the words you read echo your own feelings and you realise for the first time that someone else thinks like you.
And someone else has actually dared to write down the stuff that, up until now, you've kept locked inside.
The thrill progresses as you get older and takes on two new facets. First of all, like the feeling of red wine warming your body, you slowly realise that you are actually beginning to 'get' your favourite author's references. Your literary mind is awakened and the closer those references are to your own cultural jumping off points, the warmer the glow.
Secondly you experience the great pleasure of being led somewhere by a truly great writer, the unfolding of a perfect story, the enjoyment of a perfect plot and the satisfaction of a perfect ending.
But sadly, the road does not continue in a straight line. As you get older things change, the pleasure dulls, something goes wrong.
There are not as many great books as you thought, and now you've read most of them.
You find yourself recognising repeated or stolen ideas in literature, you begin to know how a book will end, you find yourself not engaging with characters, you stop believing in stories.
And then, maybe once a year, you read a great novel, and suddenly its like you're back to the first book that changed your life and you experience those pleasures all over again.
This is how I felt about Will Self's "How The Dead Live".Read more ›