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My Idea of Fun: Reissued
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on 22 March 2010
Ian Wharton is delusional. He believes he has extraordinary powers, and that a character from his childhood, The Fat Controller, has taken over his mind. Wharton aspires to nothing more than to lead a normal life, emotionally and sexually. The Fat Controller wants him to commit the most gruesome crimes. Indeed, he expects Wharton to murder his own pregnant wife. It can all be explained. Wharton's nemesis might be no more than an old family relation, an eccentric now safely packed away in a retirement home. But since the story is told from Wharton's point of view - and to make things worse, not always in the first person - there is no telling where reason merges into madness.

Will Self's portrayal of insanity is overwhelming. His style of writing is explosive. But the reader might as well be warned about a few things. First, madness is more boring than it sounds. Obsession is by definition repetitive, and My Idea Of Fun is too long in parts. Second, Will Self is either less good at, or not interested in, doing normality. Example, from an office scene: 'There are no such things as strangers, only prospects we haven't converted, yet.' Business people don't talk like that, not informally. And does everyone have to be a sexually tormented freak? Perhaps the point is that there is no such thing as normality, that we are all insane to a degree. If so, it is made neither subtly nor convincingly. Third, the novel's ending is predictably cryptic, with at least three plausible interpretations. There is a point to this, of course, but some readers do like to have closure. This book is only fun if you're prepared to go a little cuckoo over it.
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on 9 January 2014
But if you don't like him you will hate it. I had an argument with a friend of a friend about it - his view was that Self is pompous and likes to show off his knowledge. My view is that he just thinks and therefore writes at a level which requires concentration and doesn't spoon-feed the reader. Not an agreeable read, certainly - the central character is not remotely appealing. But it is a very good book.
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on 12 July 2013
Seems like the majority do not like this book and I am one with them.If I could give it no stars I would.I have read everything from classics to horror and if it is well written cam enjoy .To say it is demanding is vast understatement.I quit very early and am glad I did so.
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on 15 November 2013
I count myself a fan of Will Self, but this was just too much for me. I actually disliked reading it, to the extent that I couldn't really think about the issues it raised. It's basically describing madness from the inside, and does the job so well that the reader is completely disoriented and left with no point of reference. However I could only feel revulsion for the main character, so it didn't give me any insight into the issues it explored.
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on 5 February 2014
As a big fan of the dark comedy genre, it is rare to come across a book as delightfully subverted as this. It takes the reader deep into the mind of a number of hugely troubled individuals (esacpism at its very best). I couldn't recommend Will Self's book enough.

A short read as well that you'll turn through time and time again. One of the very few books that you genuinely get a new pleasure out of every time you read it.

Not to everyone's taste however - The closest title i have read in a similar area is 'Boxer Beetle'. True read-this read-that double billing.
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on 25 February 2014
Will self doing what he foes best, taking a seemingly simple but dark tale and twisting it till it bleeds deep thoughts, wisdom and stomach churning violence and humour
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on 15 February 2014
Unbelievingly boring and otherwise disgusting. Repetitive, stupid. Nothing more to say, just adding this coda to comply with the reqirements
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on 21 May 2013
Beautiful language and weird imagery.

Nothing for me to hang my "story" hat on so it all passed me by in a bit of a blur.
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I tried very hard to wade through this miasmic novel but failed after reaching 50% of the way through this cataclysmically boring book which does its best to use words found only in the more encyclopaedic dictionaries
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on 27 November 2015
loved it
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