The Butt: Book summary and reviews of The Butt by Will Self

The Butt

A Novel

By Will Self

The Butt
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2008,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

When Tom Brodzinksi tries to give up smoking, he inadvertently sets off a chain of events that threaten to upset the tenuous balance of peace in a not-too-distant land. When he flips the butt of his final cigarette off the balcony of his vacation apartment, it lands on elderly Reggie Lincoln, lounging on the balcony below. Lincoln suffers a burn, and the local authorities charge Tom with assault—in a country with draconian anti-smoking laws, a cigarette is a weapon of offense. For reparation, Tom must leave his family behind and wander through the arid center of the country’s deserted territory. Joining Tom on his journey is Brian Prentice, a mysteriously sinister presence, who has his own sins to make up for. Inevitably, the two men encounter violence, forcing them to come together despite their seething mistrust.

A profoundly disturbing allegory, The Butt reveals the heart of a distinctly modern darkness.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review, This one is at times exhausting, but if you can stick with him, Self successfully presents an ironic and timely metaphor for our post-9/11 Bigger Brother world." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Will Self Author Biography

Will Self is the author of three short-story collections, The Quantity Theory of Insanity (winner of the 1992 Geoffrey Faber award), Grey Area and Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys; a pair of novellas, Cock and Bull, and a third novella, The Sweet Smell of Psychosis; and several novels, including My Idea of Fun, Great Apes, How the Dead Live (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2000) and The Book of Dave.

Together with the photographer David Gamble, he produced Perfidious Man, a sideways look at contemporary masculinity. He has also published three collections of journalism, Junk Mail Sore Sites and Feeding Frenzy. He is a regular broadcaster on UK television and radio and as a journalist a contributor to a plethora of publications. He lives in London with his wife, ...

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