Liver

Will Self, Author . Bloomsbury $26 (276p) ISBN 978-1-59691-664-7

The reliably diabolical Self delivers four longish stories about decay, debauchery and deliverance, each at least tangentially related to London's Plantation Club. In “Foie Humain,” the Plantation Club is revealed to be a Soho drunkard's institution forever “lost in the foggy forties” and frequented by a crew of brash boozehounds. Among them, Isobel, the daughter of the protagonist of “Leberknödel,” Joyce Beddoes, who, stricken with “nausea, sickly-sour and putrid; a painfully swollen belly and a hot wire in her urethra,” ventures with Isobel to Zurich for an assisted suicide. Self's wry humor takes Joyce on an unexpected adventure as her cancer-ridden liver leads her from Birmingham to Switzerland and into a mess of religious intrigue. The same wit, and a mess of the Plantation's peripheral characters, continues through two more tales, “Prometheus,” about a London advertising executive whose liver is nibbled upon daily by a vulture in exchange for “bigger pitches with bigger spends,” and “Birdy Num Num,” the least exciting of the collection, which follows a gaggle of junkies. Despite the occasional hiccup, Self's parts function quite well together to produce a picture of putrid beauty. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 07/13/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.