London cabdriver Dave Rudmans wife deserts him for another man taking their only son with her. Fearing his son will never know him, Dave writes him a book containing his experience and thoughts - and then buries it, intending it for him when he comes of age. Five hundred years later, the Book of Dave is discovered, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportions.
Will Selfs biggest, most ambitious novel yeta profound meditation upon the nature of religion and a caustic satire of contemporary life.
When London cabdriver Dave Rudmans wife of five years deserts him for another man, taking their only son with her, he is thrown into a tailspin of doubt and discontent. Fearing Carl will never know him, Dave pens a gripping textpart memoir, part philosophical treatise, and part handbook of London street coordinatesthat captures the frustration and anxiety of modern life. Dave buries the book in his ex-wifes backyard, intending it for Carl when he comes of age.
Five hundred years later, the Book of Dave is discovered by the inhabitants of Ham, the flooded remnants of London, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportion, and its author is revered as a mighty prophet. A rant against religion and society, a historical detective story set in the far future, and a tribute to the sometimes fraught relations between father and son, The Book of Dave take on grand themes in a grand manner and clearly positions Will Self in the pantheon of Britains contemporary greats.
(Partial Excerpt from Chapter 1)
The Hacks Party
JUN 523 AD*
* Dating is from the purported discovery of the Book of Dave.
Carl De´vu´sh, spindle-shanked, bleach-blond, lampburnt, twelve years old, kicked up buff puffs of sand with his bare feet as he scampered along the path from the manor. Although it was still early in the first tariff, the foglamp had already bored through the cloud and boiled the dew off the island. As he gained height and looked back over his shoulder, Carl saw first the homely notch of Manna Ba¨, then the shrub-choked slopes of the Gayt rising up beyond it. The sea mist had retreated offshore, where it hovered, a white-grey bank merging with the blue screen above. Wot if Eye woz up vair, Carl thought, up vair lyke ve Flyin I? He put himself in this lofty perspective and saw Ham, floating like a water beetle, thrusting out angled legs of grey stone deep into the placid waters of its ultramarine lagoon. The waters ...
Putting these two subjective points aside (explained in the full review), The Book of Dave is a wickedly clever satirical novel that presents a humane and fallible protagonist (Dave) in a funny, albeit sometime depressing, vision of our possible future. As always, don't take BookBrowse's word for it, instead read a substantial excerpt (exclusive to BookBrowse) representing both the present and future storylines, and decide for yourself whether it's a book for you.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (805 words).
Will Self is the author of a number of 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. He is also the author of six novels including Cock and Bull, My Idea of Fun, Great Apes, How the Dead Live (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2000) and The Book of Dave. His next book, The Butt, will be published in the UK in April 2008. Together with photographer David Gamble, he produced Perfidious Man, a sideways look at contemporary ...
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