The Butt: An Exit Strategy

The Butt An Exit Strategy One of contemporary fiction s most wickedly brilliant endlessly talented Publishers Weekly satirists delivers a dystopian novel skewering global politics and Big Brother style government post Whe

  • Title: The Butt: An Exit Strategy
  • Author: Will Self
  • ISBN: 9780747591757
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of contemporary fiction s most wickedly brilliant endlessly talented Publishers Weekly satirists delivers a dystopian novel skewering global politics and Big Brother style government post 9 11.When Tom Brodzinksi tries to give up smoking, he inadvertently sets off a chain of events that threaten to upset the tenuous balance of peace in a not too distant land WhenOne of contemporary fiction s most wickedly brilliant endlessly talented Publishers Weekly satirists delivers a dystopian novel skewering global politics and Big Brother style government post 9 11.When Tom Brodzinksi tries to give up smoking, he inadvertently sets off a chain of events that threaten to upset the tenuous balance of peace in a not too distant land When he flips the butt of his final cigarette off the balcony of his vacation apartment, it lands on elderly Reggie Lincoln, lounging on the balcony below Lincoln suffers a burn, and the local authorities charge Tom with assault in a country with draconian anti smoking laws, a cigarette is a weapon of offense For reparation, Tom must leave his family behind and wander through the arid center of the country s deserted territory Joining Tom on his journey is Brian Prentice, a mysteriously sinister presence, who has his own sins to make up for Inevitably, the two men encounter violence, forcing them to come together despite their seething mistrust A profoundly disturbing allegory, The Butt reveals the heart of a distinctly modern darkness.

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    About " Will Self "

  • Will Self

    William Self is an English novelist, reviewer and columnist He received his education at University College School, Christ s College Finchley, and Exeter College, Oxford He is married to journalist Deborah Orr.Self is known for his satirical, grotesque and fantastic novels and short stories set in seemingly parallel universes.

  • 993 Comments

  • As a committed smoker, I too worry about our current social climate which allows overly sensitive people to possibly pass draconian laws that will punish me for punishing my lungs by sentencing me to suffer through a surreal journey into war-torn third-world deserts where I will be at the mercy of any predator with the gift of politically correct gab. The world is full of suckers, and you and me makes two.


  • Or The Marlboro Light of Darkness.Here's a CliffNotesesque version of the novel: booksardian/digestedrWhoot! On order! Cartoony British dustjacket, but still.t time I've ever imported a book. I feel like Captain Carlos De Los Santoyana, or one of thoseose wave-treading, circumnavigating Spanish spice merchants. The Butt was named the winner of the annual Wodehouse Prize at the Hays Festival (winner receives champagne, a copy of the Collected Wodehouse, and a pig named after the book: booksardian [...]


  • This book was a blistering mindfuck a swimming, vivid nightmare set in a strange and fearful desert, it's part Kafka's Castle, part Island of Doctor Moreau. The prose props up the story beautifully, underlying the sweat and the sickness of the protagonist's journey at every point, but the world that Will Self created is utterly astounding. It is a world where good intentions are confounded when a tourist finds himself embroiled in a confusing dual colonial-traditional legal system upon violating [...]


  • What just happened? How did this get published? It's garbage, a waste of a considerable talent. It starts off in a very entertaining fashion with a holiday maker who having a last cigarette flicks the butt from his hotel balcony, unfortunately it lands on an elderly mans bald pate causing a slight burn. In a Comical series of misunderstandings it gets blown out of all proportion and he faces criminal charges.So far so good, it's an entertaining romp in the manner of a less razor sharp Tom Wolfe, [...]


  • WHEN WE succeed, nothing is less interesting than our intent; but the same cannot be said when we screw up. It's hard to imagine a scenario more profoundly snafued than the one Will Self has created for the protagonist of his latest novel, "The Butt."At the end of a long vacation in a distant land, Tom Brodzinski unwittingly opens a perilous new chapter in his life when he makes good on his promise to quit smoking by flinging the butt of his last cigarette from the hotel balcony.Unfortunately fo [...]


  • I always enjoy Will Self's writing. He is entertaining and blisteringly intelligent. However, I remember reading somewhere that he once said he writes about ideas rather than concerning himself too much with plot and character development, and I wonder if this is his downfall. At some point in his novels, things always seem to descend into madness, and not in a good way. I don't know if it's a case of having too many ideas or not knowing where to take them, but I always finish his novels a littl [...]


  • (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)I hate to admit this, but before this week, the last time I had read a book by Will Self was all the way back in 1992, with his early hit Cock & Bull; and that's a shame, because on the other side of the Atlantic he's sort of known as the British Chuck Palahniuk, the author of a whole string of slightly s [...]


  • from pg 331, this when Tom slowly realizes his whole odyssey of punishment and rehabilitation (for smoking a cigarette) has been a huge scam, and one of the scammers he notes is talking to him on a cell phone imitating his wife, but anyway Tom gets a shiver:"Hispid and viscid: Beelzebub’s proboscis was nuzzling at the sweet nooks and crannies of Tom’s cerebrum. It tickled."You can like Will Self novels on many many levels: beautiful, odd, unique prose, big-picture geopolitics and history (us [...]


  • I once switched off a radio interview with Will Self because I was feeling sorry for the interviewer. I gave this book a go, though, in the belief that being irritating and writing great literature don’t have to be mutually exclusive. So it turned out, up to a point: this is very well written, original, and possessed of a sort of bleak sarcasm all of its own. It’s set in a huge country – a Southern Hemisphere island continent where colonialism has marginalised the indigenous population; it [...]


  • I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that my tastes run contrary to those of my people, the once noble homo sapiens americanus, because I, whilst shepherding the grocery buggy with the wonky wheel down the paper goods aisle where alleged "thrillers" stand in enfilade, cannot compass the generally dismal reaction to The Butt from alleged "critics". Now this is edge-of-your-seat entertainment! This is, as that much-reverenced waterlogged and kleptomaniac tailor's mannequin Ronald Reagan said [...]


  • I think I will need to think about this one for a while, and possibly read it again, before having a well-formulated opinion on it. At this point it's not my favorite Will Self book by a longshot, but it's still chock full of evocative imagery, lacerating satire, and disturbing dystopia. Sort of Kafka meets Swift meets . . . Will Self? This is another book that is best without any prior intimation of plot points and themes, so just either read it or don't. If you haven't read any of his books I [...]


  • I was intrigued by the synopsis on the book jacket - a wayward cigarette butt changes the course of one man's life. I was not expecting an alternate reality and a world that resembles one of Kurt Vonnegut's. Because of this, it took me awhile to get into the story and get involved with the main character. Once I was able to accept it for what it was, I found it irrisistable. There are shadows of the Iraq War in it, with the numerous checkpoints the characters must traverse, but it also explores [...]


  • This was so relentlessly one-note, so heart of darkness without any actual heart, I was left wondering how someone as intelligent as Self could have persevered with the writing of it, could have stuck with those flat characters. It's a long book. It adds up to very little. It's a trek across a barren landscape, in every sense.


  • I read this book some time ago and while it is not one of my favourite of Self's books, it has become quite relevant recently. The trial of the four back-packers in Malaysia for disrespecting the sacred mountain by taking naked photos in its presence may stir the frustration of anyone who has lived in a foreign culture. A relatively simple transgression of social code results in a compounding series of punishment and retribution that, as is familiar to Self's readers, become more and more absurd [...]


  • I expect Will Self to get a five star review every time so I was slightly disappointed with this novel. Only slightly though. I think is suffers in my mind because the last Self book I read was 'The Book of Dave' and I loved that.This story tells of a man's struggle to respond to a legal system in an unknown foreign country where it is believed that there 'is no such thing as an accident' and people are punished for the result of their actions and not their intentions. Tom Brodzinski decides to [...]


  • Will Self can go either way with me. I thoroughly enjoyed and admired The Book of Dave and Great Apes is one of my all-time favourites. I am generally bored or put off by his short stories and could make no headway at all with How the Dead Live.This is a lighter-hearted and (some would say) lighter-minded work than either of my great favourites. An American is on holiday with his family in an imaginary Australasia where political correctness and multiculturalism have gone mad. He casually discar [...]


  • Since giving up smoking is a favourite hobby of mine, and Will Self is a favourite author, this combination was bound to go down well with me.Tom Brodzinski is abroad with his family, in a strangely unfamiliar country. He smokes his last cigarette and in a bizarre sequence of events finds himself with a blood debt to pay under an arcane and unintelligible tribal justice system. A journey upcountry becomes a Heart of Darkness penance tinged with menance and black black humour and plenty to shock [...]


  • A good Will Self book with an interesting premise. A tourist is traveling in a foreign country where smoking is very illegal. He lets his last cigarette butt fall off of the balcony where he's staying and it hits and burns the person on the balcony below. The tribe that the victim belongs to believes nothing is done unintentionally and the main character finds himself in a legal labyrinth mixed with native tribes' views on justice. The ending I saw coming from a mile off, however, the journey to [...]


  • This was a put back on the shelf book. It's the first Self I've tried reading - a writer I always meant to try, so I was disappointed. There was some enjoyable description and phrases, but ultimately the plot was tired for me. The whole white man falling victim to ridiculously extreme tribal laws, reads in the first sections of the book as a classic rant against supposed political correctness. Traditional laws are easy to mock for 'civilised' white people. It's not Kafka-esque. Kafka was more su [...]


  • "The Butt" is a dark farce reminiscent of Flann O'Brien's "The Third Policeman." Will Self dares you to laugh at the hilarious––but not really funny at all––plight of his main character, Tom Brodzinski.For a minor misdemeanor involving a cigarette butt, Brodzinski is marooned in an imaginary composite of every outward bound tourist destination you can think of. Every move he makes seems to break some arcane taboo and to make his situation worse.Four stars instead of five, because for me [...]


  • I unashamedly adore Will Self. He is the only contemporary author I have found who makes me feel the exact same feeling as when I read Kafka, puzzlement, gnawing anxiety, the sweaty blind claustrophobia of repetitive dreams. The Butt is an easier read than Self's latest novels but it still picks you up, drags you along in a bemused daze and then punches you in the face.I've seen so many reviews on here of people saying they put it down. DO NOT DO THAT. The end is worth it in itself, even though [...]


  • For those who want to quit smoking but can't, read 5 pages of this book after each cigarette you smoke. Before long you'll pass on both the tobacco and this book.The end was the best part, which is a shame—this could have been a brilliant novella.


  • Self has created a cartoon world which I did not care to linger long in. The main character's passivity annoyed me enough to eliminate any search for higher meaning or deeper humor. Felt quite fine closing this book and walking away from it.


  • The dialogue is plodding where it should be clever. The spineless lead character just takes whatever is thrown his way in this absurd satire about colonialism which is more confusing than it is scathing. I stopped caring about halfway through, but I think the author did too.


  • Bof, bofLe livre commence bien, le début est original et drôle. On est pris par l'intrigue.Mais la suite est décevante et on perd le fil. Dommage.


  • To be positive, once I got going on this read, I really enjoyed the ride and was driven to take it through to the end. But at 100 pages I was almost giving up on it. It seemed so confused – what was it really about? In that position, I opted for reading a few reviews which allowed me to see some of what was ahead and so I was taken up into this terrific gallop across a foreign multi-cultural land. But still at the end I felt disappointed. It seemed to be overfilled with ideas, new terms, stran [...]


  • Esperimento davvero particolare, forse non perfettamente riuscito. Will Self tratteggia un mondo narrativo che ci fa riflettere sulle nostre credenze antropologiche, sociali e giurisprudenziali. Il protagonista è uno di noi, un uomo occidentale che vede la fine della dipendenza dal tabagismo come una conquista assoluta. Un uomo che, ovviamente, finisce per non capire il senso di ciò che gli capita intorno, di un mondo identico e diverso con delle regole proprie.Il finale è forse troppo rapido [...]


  • I am really not sure what I think of this book. It is part Heart of Darkness, part buddy/road story movie, part Kafkaesque nightmare. About half way through I felt that it lost all credibility; surely no person would subject themselves to this punishment? Is Will Self making a point about the legal systems in the less sophisticated parts of the world (i.e. where brown people live?) Mostly I found myself cringing at the references to 'bing bongs' and colonial attitudes. Maybe I just didn't get th [...]


  • A journey into the heart of darkness of an island continent that could be Australia, if you were on a bad acid trip. Bleakly hilarious. Shockingly blunt (no pc here). Sabagely clear-sighted. Will Self at his sulphurous best. Only criticism I think he used to have trouble with endings. Often a bit abrupt and unsatisfying. Still worth the trip.


  • There were points during the long road trip in the middle that I wondered why I was reading this; ultimately it was just about worthy it. The satire was good, the politics and morality of it were interesting, but it would have been better if it was half as long.


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