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Will: A Memoir
Will: A Memoir
Will: A Memoir
Аудиокнига11 часов

Will: A Memoir

Написано Will Self

Озвучено Will Self

Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд



Об этой аудиокниге

Will Self is one of Britain's best-known contemporary writers, a public intellectual whose novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and translated into over twenty languages. In Will, his first ever memoir, he turns his attention fully to his own self, and in particular his addictions as a young man.

An addiction memoir like no other, Will echoes the best of Self's psychedelic fiction, and is one of the most eloquent depictions of the allure of hard drugs ever written. Will spins the listener from Self's childhood in a North London suburb to his mind-expanding education at Oxford, to a Burroughsian trip to Morocco, an outback vision in Australia, and, finally, a surreal turn in rehab. Self uses drugs from a young age, hiding acid, amphetamine, and weed in a tin of Dilly Duckling cough pastilles. His university years are fueled with books but also with "heroin, hashish, cocaine, grass and amphetamine." Self smokes dope in suburbia, buys opium in India, and even injects methamphetamine on a camping trip in Wales's Black Mountains. And his extreme highs inevitably give way to deep lows, an enthralling cycle that persists and repeats.

One of the best minds of our generation, whose mordant humor and vivid images shine in this technicolor portrait of family, art, and self-expression, Self has written in Will both a kunstlerroman and confessional, a tale of excess and degradation, a karmic cycle that leads back to the author's own lack of . . . will.

ИздательRecorded Books Audio
Дата выпуска14 янв. 2020 г.

Will Self

Will Self is an English novelist, journalist, political commentator and television personality. He is the author of ten novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas, and five collections of non-fiction writing.

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Рейтинг: 3.3333333333333335 из 5 звезд

9 оценок3 отзыва

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  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    Will: A Memoir is an odd trip of a book, as it appears that Will Self was only thinking in odd bursts of words, and indiscriminately alternating many of them in italics. The italics seems to randomly show up (sometimes several times in a single sentence), and they just seemed scattered and many times meaningless to this reader. Though I’m currently living with a former heroin user, I’m personally ignorant of living in a mind on smack, but his stylings seem vague and off the mark. I wondered if to Self these stylings somehow revealed how his mind misfired on the drugs, and how they slanted his words. A Kirkus review is quoted on the book’s jacket calling it, “[A] heady stew of J.G. Ballard, Hunter S. Thompson, and Philip K. Dick.” In my opinion, this book could well be a collection of those writers’ most unsuccessful and least interesting writing experiments. In another review, it first quoted Self from the book, “there’s nothing remotely exciting about heroin addiction” and then went on to say, “Which begs the question, then why has he decided to inflict nearly 400 pages of this indulgent paean to his former junkie self on the reader?” I would love to take that reviewer out for a drink and salute them.Will Self is writing about himself abusing drugs as a teenager and in his twenties. He writes in the third person and in almost four hundred pages, I never found myself engaged or interested in the times of his life that he was describing. I have liked several of his unique novels, but this experiment of a memoir never worked for me. I’m now zero for two in appreciating recent books dealing with addiction. Maybe I need to kick drugs for a while.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    Like Amis, it’s the death of others that gets Will in the end. 4* because, very good though it is, it’s not Umbrella, Shark or Phone.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    One part of me thinks Will Self is an absolutely astounding writer and another thinks he's an overrated, solipsistic, far-too wordy, gaudy, show-offy and wasted talent.

    This is what I guess constitutes the first part of more than one of his autobiographical books. None may follow, but this one covers his earlier years throughout addiction.

    He references William S. Burroughs enough times to make me think he not only wanted to write this book as though he actually were Burroughs—which would be strange, as Burroughs himself wrote quite a number of autobiographical books in the midst of addiction—but then again, the book is so Self-ishly (pun intended) written that it's impossible to know.

    The result is a book that is written by an intelligent and acutely self-aware author. Self has created a book that delves into how people can act when in the throes of addiction. I guess many readers can loathe his experimental style plus the fact that the entire book is written in the third person:

    The May morning sunlight detonates against 1916’s façade, and its diamond-shaped windowpanes . . . explode. Will senses the build-up of commuter traffic behind him, as the cars, trucks and vans hump along the Clapham Road towards the city centre: a steely testudo, ever forming, dispersing and re-forming. Will thinks of the desperate manoeuvre he pulled off on the way from Kensington: ‘You coulda fucking killed yourself . . . No, really, you could’ve . . .’

    Will’s fond of La Rochefoucauld’s maxim: God invented sex in order to place Man in embarrassing positions – yet none, surely, are as shameful as his own, for he lurches across town, hobbled by his half-masted trousers and underpants, from one impulsive liaison to the next.

    Self is currently quite sober, and as such, he's delved into a domain that I feel is always a pain for writers: soberly trying to describe the feeling of being intoxicated. While I think Self pulls it off for most of the time, his "psychogeography"—a word he uses often—seemingly can't dissuade him from adding difficult words while creating a solipsistic world that the addict is almost always in.

    I feel that writers like William S. Burroughs and Alan Moore have handled descriptions of mayhem and debauchery far better than Self has, mainly due to my personal dislike of Self's style in this book. Sure, the made-up words and stylistic slurs probably describe how Self felt at the time, but grate on me; I wish he'd have tightened-up and hence produced a more effervescent look back. I'm quite sure Self knows what he's doing.

    This book was very easy to read, which made me wonder what's wrong with me; ultimately, Self's style is quite easily digested if one is able to circumvent all the trappings, of which there are quite a few. I can't say I enjoyed this book, nor that I will remember it fondly, but it's an interesting look into the current mind of an intelligent person who was a massive drug addict a couple of decades ago.