Shark - Will Self

This fever-dream of a novel starts in mid-sentence, as if there’s been no break between the last appearance of Dr. Zack Busner in Umbrella and the return of this unconventional psychiatrist in Shark (Grove, $26). But it’s 1975 now, everyone is watching Jaws, and the doctor has established a half-way house. In his powerful, Joycean stream of monologues, hallucinations, and impressions, Will Self asks how sane people respond to an insane event. His tenth novel examines three such episodes, tracing the impact of the Hiroshima bombing, the 1945 wreck of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (torpedoed by the Japanese, the ship sank in twelve minutes, wasn’t missed for four days, and had 316 survivors out of 1,196 men), and, on the domestic front, one woman’s battered childhood at the hands of alcoholic parents. Self intertwines these and other narratives, making the point that an individual’s trauma also belongs to the culture as a whole; you can be haunted by the atomic blast’s “skin angels” without having been a target spotter on the Enola Gay. Bleak as this vision is, however, Self presents it with such manic wordplay and startling humor that readers could almost laugh right through “the snafu at the end of the world.”

Shark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802123107
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grove Press - November 4th, 2014

Shark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124173
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grove Press - October 13th, 2015

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