Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book Review: The Book of Dave by Will Self

The book of Dave is based around the premise that the written ramblings of a London taxi driver have been misinterpreted by a future, antediluvian English society, creating a culture of racism, sexism and of split families. This parody of religious beliefs interested me immensely but I found upon reading it, that this novel did not live up to my expectations.

Written with two parallel storylines, following both the London cabbie (Dave) and the future society, I found that it took a very long time for them to come anywhere near together. Perhaps this writer was too clever for me but I found that having to wait until very close to the end to understand every triviality was annoying.

Much of the storyline following the characters in the future (characters that I found indistinuishable from one another) is written in an irritating dialect which is in fact a form of cockney written phonetically and this just smacked of unoriginality - just a copy of Anthony Burgess's jargon in "A Clockwork Orange" although it was much easier to understand than that.

The Book of Dave is not all bad though, at its best it satirises the blind faith of religious groups and the breakdown of the family unit in many parts of the UK, but for me it took too long to make any of these points.

This book is certainly not for a mass audience and the more subversive reader will appreciate it more than others, although I feel it fails to live up to its full potential.

Score: 6/10

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