Don't you hate it when you favourite writers write a book that irritates you? I sure do. Self, a writer I admire, has just done that with The Butt. After the fist few pages, it meanders into absurdity, which I normally would quite like, especially from the likes of Self, who has penned some really fantastic and satirical novels. Great Apes, for example, is quite excellent. Reading The Butt, however, only made me wish that the book was 100 pages shorter. Why did it take so long to get to the end? And then there was that overpowering sadness at the loss of so much time spent cursing this book.
The reader never knows what kind of bizarre or fantastic world is going to unfold in a Will Self novel. Nor is s/he incapable of being in awe of his linguistic skill and vocabulary. But, this book borders on the incomprehensible. Sure, there are some amusing passages, and one cannot help but admire his writing, but I was left with a feeling that this wasn't really the best he could do. I truly felt tired at the end of it, and I had no interest in recalling any part of the book after chucked it aside with considerable relief, like a cigarette butt left to slowly disintegrate over time in a ditch.
Read Will Self, but skip this one.