Self-conscious Joycean pastiche is bad and baffling

Umbrella by Will Self. Bloomsbury, €15. Reviewed by Kevin Power.

29th September, 2012
Will Self: content to repeat quaintly 'radical' gestures. Photo: Getty



Will Self's Booker-shortlisted new novel is unreadable in two senses: it is difficult to read, and it is almost unbelievably bad. The plot has been borrowed from Awakenings (1973) by Oliver Sacks. In 1922, a young woman named Audrey Death is admitted to Friern Barnet Mental Hospital with a diagnosis of "Primary Dementia".

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