Will Self’s collection of short stories ‘The Quantity Theory of Insanity’ was not only his first book but also the first thing of his that I ever read, way back in 1998. I’d always intending re-reading it, but had lent the book to a friend at some stage and never got it back. I was glad I’d bought it again and renewed my acquaintance, even if, after reading so much more of Self’s work, I perhaps wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as I had been the first time. His writing style is brilliant, and in those days still lacking the deliberate search for obscure words which makes some of his later work a lot less readable. But the best thing about this book is the ideas, and the ease with which he can make the most weird and surreal possibilities so plausible. He creates his own world, and it’s a very special one. It was interesting to see how themes and even characters which were elaborated on in later works make their first appearance here. I also very much like the way London is always present, almost as another character in the stories, and so vividly and accurately portrayed – although not in a way which would make me want to ever live there again!
|title||The Quantity Theory of Insanity|
|read||30/06/2014 – 10/07/2014|