'Self's Dorian subtitles itself "an imitation", and that it is exactly what it is, in the full Wildean sense. It flatters its original by taking both subject and style entirely seriously. The locations, characters, plot and epigrams are all transposed from the 1890s to the 1990s...Little is materially altered, but everything is reused - sharpened, blackened and intensified by Self's idiosyncratic remix of Wilde's combination of wit and rage, extravagant debauchery with clinical introspection...Self's reincarnation of Dorian has taken the fag ends of both an English century and an English myth and given them new, troubling and hugely entertaining life' - "Guardian".
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Will Self has published three short story collections and three novels, all of which are in Penguin. His most recent novel HOW THE DEAD LIVE was shortlisted for the 2000 Whitbread Fiction prize, and DORIAN was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002. Self is also a big media figure, with a regular BBC Radio 4 slot and a starring role in SHOOTING STARS on BBC2. He lives in Stockwell, South LondonFrom Publishers Weekly:
In this retelling of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, most of the original's characters are cleverly transmuted into their late-20th-century counterparts: dissolute Henry Wotton, now openly homosexual with a nasty heroin habit; his protege, eager young video artist "Baz" Hallward; and the title character, the quintessential amoral narcissist and a "seducer par excellence" (of men and, occasionally, women). In the summer of 1981, Hallward captures Gray's youth and beauty in a video installation that he titles "Cathode Narcissus." He and Wotton take Gray under their wing and school him in the ways of profligate London living, early '80s-style. By 1997, all three are HIV-positive, though Dorian, of course, shows no sign of illness. Self uses Wilde's plot to examine post-Stonewall gay life, from its drug-fueled hedonistic excesses to the reckoning of the AIDS epidemic. The novel skewers every layer of British society-street hustlers, members of Parliament and the idle rich. Real-life figures also appear, most notably the "princess of bulimia," Diana Spencer. The prose is laced with epigrammatic, lightly amusing pseudo-Wildean wit ("I want my sins to be like sushi-fresh, small and entirely raw," says Wotton), but its wordplay and evocation of debauchery also owe something to Evelyn Waugh and Martin Amis (channeling Hunter Thompson and Irvine Welsh). Self's mannered prose can grow tedious, and there's hardly a sympathetic character to be found, but the writer has undertaken-and largely succeeded in pulling off-a daring act of literary homage.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140290567
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140290567