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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

He who opens a door, closes a prison

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.