My Idea of Fun by Will Self

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My Idea of Fun is impressively written, but I wouldn't want to meet its readers in a dark alley.
-Entertainment Weekly


Will Self has established himself as one of the most brilliant, daring, and inventive writers of his generation. My Idea of Fun is Will Self’s highly acclaimed first novel. The story of a devilishly clever international financier/marketing wizard and his young apprentice, My Idea of Fun is both a frighteningly dark subterranean exploration of capitalism run rampant and a wickedly sharp, technically acute display of linguistic pyrotechnics that glows with pure white-hot brilliance. Ian Wharton is a very ordinary young man until he is taken under the wing of a gentleman known variously as Mr. Broadhurst, Samuel Northcliff, and finally and simply the Fat Controller. Loudmouthed, impeccably tailored, and a fount of bombastic erudition, the Fat Controller initiates Ian into the dark secrets of his arts -- of marketing, money, and the human psyche -- and takes Ian, and the reader, on a wild voyage around the edges of reality. As we careen into the twenty-first century, Self perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our times: money is the only common language; consumerism, violence, and psychosis (drug-induced and otherwise) prevail; and the human soul has become the ultimate product.

About Will Self

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Will Self is the author of "The Quantity Theory of Insanity, " winner of the 1993 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, "Grey Area, Cock & Bull", "My Idea of Fun", "The Sweet Smell of Psychosis", "Great Apes", "Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys", "Dorian, " "How the Dead Live", which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2002, and "The Book of Dave". He lives in London. Ralph Steadman is the author of "Sigmund Freud", "I Leonardo", "The Big I Am", "The Scar-Strangled Banner", the novel "Doodaaa "and the memoir "The Joke's Over: Memories of Hunter S. Thompson. "He is also the illustrator of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", "Alice", "Animal Farm "and" The Devil'" "s Dictionary". He lives in Kent.
Published January 1, 1993 by Atlantic. 309 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for My Idea of Fun
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1


Below average

With some slapdash juxtapositions of drug-addict mentality and business-marketing philosophy, the novel concludes, likely leaving readers with an expanded vocabulary (...) but also grasping for meaning.

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Publishers Weekly


An eclectic vocabulary further enriches this ambitious, impressive narrative by a writer already named one of the Best of the Young British Novelists.

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Entertainment Weekly

on Apr 01 1994

My Idea of Fun is impressively written, but I wouldn't want to meet its readers in a dark alley.

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