Excerpt from The Book of Dave by Will Self, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Book of Dave

A Novel

by Will Self

The Book of Dave by Will Self X
The Book of Dave by Will Self
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2006, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2007, 512 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


(Partial Excerpt from Chapter 2)

II
Trapping a Flyer
December 2001

Hunched low over the wheel, foglamps piercing the miasma, Dave Rudman powered his cab through the chicane at the bottom of Park Lane. The cabbie’s furious thoughts shot through the windscreen and ricocheted off the unfeeling world. Achilles was up on his plinth with his tiny bronze cock, his black shield fending off the hair-styling wand of the Hilton, where all my heartache began. Solid clouds hung overhead lunging up fresh blood. The gates to Hyde Park, erected for the Queen Mother, looked like bent paperclips in the gloom, the lion and unicorn on their Warner Brothers escutcheon were prancing cartoon characters. Evil be to him who thinks of it, said the Unicorn, and the Lion replied, Eeee, whassup, Doc?

Stuttering by them, Rudman’s Faredar picked up a Burberry bundle trapped on the heel of grass that was cut off from the central reservation by the taut, tarmac tendon of Achilles Way. Stupid plonker. The cab’s wipers went ‘eek-eek’. The bundle was trying to roll over the Y-shaped crash barrier – all that prevented him from being mown down by the four lanes of traffic, traffic that came whipping past the war memorial where bronze corpses lay beneath concrete howitzers. Tatty coaches full of carrot-crunchers up for the Xmas wallet-fuck, pale-skinned, rust-grazed Transit vans with England flags taped across their back windows, boogaloo bruvvers in Seven Series BMWs, throw-cushion specialists in skateboard-sized Smart cars, Conan-the-fucking-Barbarian motorcycle couriers, warped flat-bed trucks piled high with scrap metal, one-eyed old Routemaster buses – the whole stinky caravan of London wholesale-to-retail, five credit-worthy days before Christmas was intent on crushing this bit of Yank, wannabe roadkill . . . So Dave slewed the Fairway over to the nearside lane and waited to see whether he’d make it.

He did. He came puffing up to the driver-side window. ‘Sir, sir, excuse me, sir . . .’ Sir, sir?! Is he fucking insane? ‘Thank you for stopping.’ He’s going to ask me if I know which theatre The King and I is playing at. Stupid cunt. ‘Could you take me to . . .’ The Yank drew a piece of paper from his trench-coat pocket and consulted it. ‘Mill Hill . . .’ He said the two words slowly and distinctly, as if they might be difficult for Dave to comprehend. ‘If that’s . . . that’s not kinduv of beyond your range?’ My range, what does he think I am, some fucking wild boar? Dave pictured beastly London cabs, rolling in the roadway, shaking their metal shoulders to rid themselves of railings hurled by Hoorays starved of sport.

‘Get in, please.’ Dave bent his arm out of the window and opened the door, then he shrugged back inside and hit the meter. The bundle bowled in, a grateful blob of wet gaberdine that wafted a gentle stench of some male fragrance advertised by chest-waxing ponces in underpants. Dave Rudman shifted the cab into drive and shuddered off up the nearside lane, expertly swerving to avoid a coach that lurched out of its bay. Then he rubbed his sore nostrils with a wad of tissue as shapeless as snot. Day-and-fucking-Night-Nurse . . . that’s what you need in this job. Open the hatch and through it comes another slant-eyed virus at 120 mph.

The fare sat in the middle of the back seat, knees akimbo, potbelly exposed by the open flaps of his trench coat, both hands on the safety handles set in the rear doors of the cab as if he’s in a rickshaw costing twenty-five-fucking-grand. ‘When I say range, cabbie,’ said the fare, leaning forward to push his fat face through the open hatch, ‘I mean, I’ve heard of your famous Knowledge, but I figure that maybe Mill Hill is a bit beyond it . . . beyond the area you have to cover.’ He’s a talker, this one, he wants to talk, he goes to whores and when they try to plate him he says he’d rather talk, ’coz the only thing he wants in their mouths is comforting words. He’ll start on fucking Afghanistan in two minutes flat. He’s gonna go all Tora Bora on me . . .

Excerpted from The Book of Dave by Will Self Copyright © 2006 by Will Self. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury Press (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Fountains of Silence
    The Fountains of Silence
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a complicated period in history. The issues each side ...
  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...
  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.