The Book of Dave: A Revelation of the Recent Past and the Distant Future
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The latest doorstopper from the Prometheus of contemporary storytelling Will Self is a work of catatonic, lucid and breathtaking speculative fiction, alternating between a post-apocalyptic world governed by gibbering Cockernees and a present post-9/11 London, blighted by gibbering Cockernees.
The Book of Dave is built upon the idea of what might happen were a bigoted, repulsive ...more
- “We nú viss woz cummin…”
- “U awl no viss, U muss taykup ve nú wä aw Nú Lundun wil nevah B bilt. U muss follo ve Búk aw U wil leev Am…”
OK this definitively is not printing error which is what I thought when I suddenly found myself stuck in the landfill of incomprehensible combination of crippled words (that seems to have some remote connection with English) and numbers which then supposed to have some actual meaning. Which supposed to be the languag ...more
But it is Will's fault that he cribbed (read: ransacked) Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, which I couldn't get through...
Speaking of distractions, in the middle of writing this unreview, some kid knocked on the door looking for his dog. After I went through a brilliant comic monologue describing all the dogs I had seen that day ("This big, gray...this big, bla ...more
No ratings as it's been 5 years I'm reading it (no shit), keep stoping and keep going back to it, because this book hurts my brain so much that I can't manage to stick to it for too long...but it's definitely NOT a bad book, quite the contrary.
I thank myself occasionally about picking this one in french for a change, because I can't imagine how tough it would be for me to read it in english - considering that it's already hard in my ow ...more
Effectively, the Book of Dave is a written document by a London cab driver with high rage levels and a mental i ...more
Weird and wonderful, this tale starts as two disparate threads of narrative, seemingly nothing connecting save the odd word or concept here or there. Dave, our humble cabbie, present day London, like many cabbies holds the runs of streets and points of interest in his mind. Runs and points. His life unravels around him as a tale of urban dysfunction, but his Knowledge of London helps somehow. Dave's narrative voice slips ...more
But not without its flaws. I can tell that a lot of the fun of this book is supposed to arise from drawing the parallels between Dave's world and the After Dave world (or whatever it's called) but I didn't find the After Dave world compelling enough to deconstruct. But ma ...more
Parts of the book, which take place in a futuristic version of London, are written in a phonetic version of Cockney English. It took me several chapters of sllllooooowww reading to get into the rhythm of it. Events switch back and forth between 90s London and London (Lundun) of the future, and you must att ...more
This one was my first Father's Day gift, and a perfect one at that. It is a father's tale, in the worst possible way.
Dave is a racist, prejudiced and increasingly insane cab driver in London. After a brutal divorce and separation from his son, he decides to writ ...more
As I get older, I don't have as much patience for books that make me WORK to understand them. Makes me sound like a moron, I know, but life is too short for me to spend my pleasure time reading a manifesto left behind by a bitter, angry man. Nope. I've got better things to do.
Oh, and in all honesty, I did not finish i ...more
The basic premise of the book is what drew me in originally, and I just love it. Five hundred years in the future, in a regressed post-apocalyptic London, people take the buried book of a Cockney-speaking cab driver as the basis for their religion and, thereby, for their whole culture. The Book of ...more
The book was a tough read, especially for an American. The Mockni becomes easier to read as you go along, but the TERMS themselves often meant nothing to me - British slang terms that I don't know. Still, the book had i ...more
Basically two narratives intertwine, that of Dave a un-likeable, misogynist, racist London cab-driver who, since splitting with his wife, is writing down a rant in the form of a book. The second narrative is 500 years into the future, when this book becomes the basis for a new religion as practised by the people living in what remains of London after massive climate change induced flooding. This future w ...more
"This book shouldn't exist, but it does, thank Dave"
This is my first experience of Will self and i was completely absorbed. He utilises language and treads where few would dare in a world strangled by political correctness. He then tempers it with a turn of phrase that is so utterly masterful as to create a character who is racist and utterly dispicable in every way yet you find yourself rooting for his redemption and wishing you were the one sitting in his cab while he took ...more
The present-day story is full of brutally honest descriptions of unsympathetic characters, foolish decisions and bad luck. The streets of Lon ...more
First and foremost, having a knowledge (not necessarily Knowledge) of London and its environs would be useful to enhance appreciation of the tale. The use of written cockney is really painful at first, but you kinda get used to it slowly. And the switching from "present day" to "the future" at each chapter provides a great way of painting the end result *and* slowly doling out HOW ...more
Will Self's previous fiction, including The Quantity Theory of Insanity, captured modern English society's ills. The Book of Dave, a best seller in the UK, is a similarly imaginative, vitriolic, and what-if criticism of modern culture. Despite its compelling themes, reviewers differed in opinion about the novel's success. While the Minneapolis Star Tribune called it an "utterly enthralling and laser-sharp nightmare of our present and future," others criticized the caricatured males and difficult...more
“The Book of Dave” is based around the rants of Dave Roth, a disgruntled East End taxi driver, who writes his woes down and buries them only to have them discovered 500 years after the flood and used as the sacred text for a religion that has taken hold in the remnants of London. Will Self’s big bold book dares to take on the grand themes in the grand manner. It is at once a profound meditation upon the nature of received religion; a ...more
But even more than this, Self has the rare abi ...more
Self is known for his satirical, grotesque and fantastic novels and short stories set in seemingly parallel universes.