The Quiddity of Will Self

Sam Mills

The Quiddity of Will Self

A ghost hovers outside the window of Will Self's study. She is Sylvie, a beautiful young woman who was recently murdered, who wants to influence Self's latest novel before she moves on... Her dead body was discovered by Richard, a twenty-something idler and literary wannabe. He discovers that Sylvie was a member of the W.S.C. - a mysterious cult of charismatic writers who appear to worship Will Self in a strange and secret style. Gradually, he gets sucked into their dark world of absinthe, cloaks and bizarre Initiation rites. Richard begins to lose his sense of perspective. What is the WSC and what is their relationship to the mysterious Hemingway potions? What did they do to Sylvie... and what will they do to him? Ranging from the present day to 2049, from dictionary rape to literary orgies, from lesbian book reviewers to the Great Vowel Shift, The Will Self Murders is a quirky, comic novel, reminiscent of Being John Malkovich - with the acclaimed novelist, Will Self, as the centre of fascination. 3.1 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Quiddity of Will Self

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 304
RRP
Date of Publication March 2012
ISBN 978-1780331133
Publisher Corsair
 

A ghost hovers outside the window of Will Self's study. She is Sylvie, a beautiful young woman who was recently murdered, who wants to influence Self's latest novel before she moves on... Her dead body was discovered by Richard, a twenty-something idler and literary wannabe. He discovers that Sylvie was a member of the W.S.C. - a mysterious cult of charismatic writers who appear to worship Will Self in a strange and secret style. Gradually, he gets sucked into their dark world of absinthe, cloaks and bizarre Initiation rites. Richard begins to lose his sense of perspective. What is the WSC and what is their relationship to the mysterious Hemingway potions? What did they do to Sylvie... and what will they do to him? Ranging from the present day to 2049, from dictionary rape to literary orgies, from lesbian book reviewers to the Great Vowel Shift, The Will Self Murders is a quirky, comic novel, reminiscent of Being John Malkovich - with the acclaimed novelist, Will Self, as the centre of fascination.

Reviews

The Guardian

Nicholas Royle

… ambitious and outrageous … The Quiddity of Will Self felt overlong, as most contemporary novels do, and a squeezed middle would have been to its benefit, not to mention a more thorough copy-edit, but the author's invention and enthusiasm – and the depth of her apparent obsession – are undoubtedly infectious.

30/03/2012

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The Observer

Henry Krempels

… highly entertaining …

11/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Robert Collins

It’s not clear what this satire of author ­worship really adds up to in the end, but it is, nevertheless, an ingenious, energetic read, admirable for the verve and macabre imagination with which Mills pursues her quarry.

18/03/2012

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The Daily Mail

Stephanie Cross

Is the ensuing baroque silliness and polysyllabic excess pastiche? Or Selfian homage? Regardless, there’s plenty more to come: a crazed psychiatrist who has distilled the essence of scribes from Hemingway to (inevitably) Self, and an interlude in 2049 that, with its ‘tropicsmogs’, talking kitchens and murderous literary cults, should have been a novel in its own right ... exhausting.

08/03/2012

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Times Literary Supplement

Tadzio Koelb

The Quiddity of Will Self is therefore on the surface a whodunnit, a conspiracy tale, a ghost story, “speculative” fiction, and sci-fi. Perhaps because it tries to be so many things, it is satisfying as none. Science fiction, for example, offers authors the elasticity to stretch current inclinations to their breaking point and thereby assess them, but Sam Mills’s future is rather sketchily imagined, and the observations at the heart of her vision (people don’t read enough and take too many pills) seem trite ... If it were all in fun, it might not be such a trial, but there is little incentive to read the novel as anything but earnest. The jokes to be found (the essences of Hemingway and Self are found to cancel each other out) are far too heavy-handed to evoke much humour.

13/04/2012

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