Which Will Self book to start with?

Great Apes is really good, as is The Book of Dave. The more recent ones are really hard work.

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I really liked Book of Dave but felt it was probably harder work than Great Apes, which is my other recommendation.

One of those two.

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I didn’t really like the afterlife one - can’t remember the name but it was set it Dulwich and couldn’t quite hit the spot it wanted between grim and funny.

I’ve read Book of Dave and The Butt and enjoyed both, still waiting to use chthonic and palimpsest in a conversation like it ain’t no thing. You might also like London Orbital by Iain Sinclair

I get ya. Mortality does demand a careful approach as a subject. He is always basically a coin toss between grim and funny though, so I guess the hit-rate isn’t gonna always be too high!

His most readable one for me was How The Dead Live but tbh you may as well just bin him off and read William Burroughs instead.

Or Ballard!

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Yeah v true. Of the couple of self’s novels i read there was nothing amazing about them. There’s far better stuff out there. Not read any of his nonfic outside of the odd article though.

I enjoyed The Book of Dave a lot, but haven’t read anything else of his (other than a short story collection which I don’t remember).

The Book of Dave is great, but I wouldn’t say it was a good route in. It’s a tough read thanks to his use of a sort of made-up/evolved language.

I read Quantity Theory of Insanity when I was too young to really get it and it messed me up, so I recommend that.