Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Self belief

I think Will Self is a brilliant writer so when I found out that he was appearing at The Roundhouse, not going was out of the question. I had no idea what he'd be doing, so went along with great expectations.

Before going into the smaller Dr. Martens FREEDM Studio section of the venue, or "the arsehole of the Roundhouse" as Mr Self described it, I was caught by a camera crew asking people why they wanted to see the author. I babbled some absolute shite about liking how he uses language, using flamboyant adjectives to add to the stories. And also how this was at odds with my work as a sub editor, cutting out superfluous words. Or something. I don't know what they were filming for and hope I never find out.

So onto the show. Interspersed with effortlessly funny and expertly observed comments, Will Self read extracts from the two paperbacks he has coming out this year, The Butt and Liver. I've found some of his novels quite hard to get into but hearing him read the first scene of The Butt, complete with convincing accents for the characters, everything was immediately clear. I'd have been happy for him to have carried on for the whole book.

He rounded off the night taking questions from the audience on topics ranging from the death of J.G. Ballard, heroin and the state of modern journalism. All in all, it was an extremely funny and interesting evening with Will Self coming across as very intelligent and genuinely pleasant, albeit a little cynical. But there's nothing wrong with that.

I bought a copy of The Butt, which he was nice enough to write his name in for me. Having babbled at the camera earlier, could I find anything to say to him? Could I bollox – utterly star struck.

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