Liver: Book summary and reviews of Liver by Will Self

Liver

A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes

by Will Self

Liver by Will Self
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2008
    276 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

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Book Summary

These remarkable new pieces from Will Self each feature the largest of our internal organs: the liver, in varying states of disease and decay. In "Foie Humane" we go inside a Soho drinking club, the denizens of which live in a highly stylised yet emotionally dead state of excess. "Prometheus" tells the story of a dazzlingly successful advertising copywriter who can sell anything to anyone at any time. But things go wrong when he meets Zeus, a bigshot entrepreneur with a beautiful and manipulative wife. Tony Phillips' subterranean Kensington flat is the setting for "Birdy Num Num," where obsessives spend their days in a crepuscular realm of cocaine and heroin. Finally, in "Leberknodel', a terminal liver cancer patient travels to Zurich to commit assisted suicide. When she arrives, however, the cancer mysteriously goes into remission.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The reliably diabolical Self delivers four longish stories about decay, debauchery and deliverance...despite the occasional hiccup, Self's parts function quite well together to produce a picture of putrid beauty." - Publishers Weekly

"Each story has a distinctive voice—Self employs linguistic bravado in all—but deals with the same ideas and reaches the same conclusion: we are destroying ourselves; so what?" - Library Journal

"Brilliant and blistering, when not overinfatuated with addiction or in undisciplined pursuit of flights of fancy - an intermittently dazzling collection from a restless talent." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Will Self Author Biography

Will Self is the author of five short-story collections including The Quantity Theory of Insanity (winner of the 1992 Geoffrey Faber award), Grey Area and Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys; three novellas, including Cock and 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 Mana 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, Deborah Orr, and ...

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