The Book of Dave by Will Self
A Novel

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Synopsis

When East End cabdriver Dave Rudman's wife takes from him his only son, Dave pens a gripping text-a compilation about everything from the environment, Arabs, and American tourists to sex, Prozac, and cabby lore-that captures all of his frustrations and anxieties about his contemporary world. Dave buries the book in his ex-wife's Hampstead backyard, intending it for his son, Carl, when he comes of age.
Five hundred years later, Dave's book is found by the inhabitants of Ham, a primitive archipelago in postapocalyptic London, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportions and the template for a new civilization. Only one islander, Symum, remains incredulous. But, after he is imprisoned for heresy, his son Carl must journey through the Forbidden Zone and into the terrifying heart of New London to find the only thing that will reveal the truth once and for all: a second Book of Dave that repudiates the first.
The Book of Dave is a profound meditation upon the nature of religion and a caustic satire of contemporary life.
 

About Will Self

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Will Self is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. He also writes for newspapers and magazines, and appears regularly on television and radio. He lives in London.
 
Published December 14, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 512 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of Dave

Kirkus Reviews

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Dave’s mad, self-justifying, misogynistic “memoir,” which he buries in the backyard of Michelle’s new home, takes on a vivid extended life more than 500 years later, when it’s excavated, fervently embraced as a sacred text and used as a template by a rigidly structured society in which parents li...

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The New York Times

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The book’s most sympathetic characters end up being the motos, manatee-like part-human creatures of the future that Self describes in the glossary as “large, viviparous, omnivorous, mammalian,” with “the functional intelligence of a 2-year-old human child.” The motos have no identifiable precurso...

Nov 12 2006 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

The Guardian

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When Will Self came to the Guardian book club to discuss his novel The Book of Dave, the opening question from a reader was suitably Self-like (Self-ish?): "Have any of your translators committed suicide?"

Jun 23 2007 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Book of Dave by Will Self Viking £17.99, pp496 Shortly before founding the Church of Scientology, that collection of extraterrestrial postulations favoured by the famous and, some say, vulnerable, L Ron Hubbard is said to have declared: 'The way to make a million dollars is to start a religi...

May 28 2006 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Book of Dave by Will Self 512pp, Viking, £17.99 A whole new future is inflating itself like a fat grape from the side of Dave Rudman's head.

May 27 2006 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Self, the provocative British raconteur who used the Tibetan Book of the Dead to map London (How the Dead Live , 2000) is taking another literary shot across his home city's bow.

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Entertainment Weekly

London cabdriver Dave Rudman has a lot to be angry about in Will Self's The Book of Dave, especially his ex-wife, who's run off with their only son.

Nov 10 2006 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

About.com

I thought sure that when I reached the end of Will Self's latest novel, The Butt, I would have found myself a new favorite author.

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Bookmarks Magazine

When London cabbie Dave Rudman’s beautiful wife leaves him and takes their only child, Dave falls into an abyss of alcohol, bitterness, and self-pity.

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Book of Dave: A Novel

The Zone

The struggle to be a man in the modern world pushes Dave into a mental collapse, and at times the two strands of the novel mix, as Dave has visions of the future and the denizens of the future occasionally make contact with Dave.

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Reader Rating for The Book of Dave
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