By Will Self
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781596915558, 368pp.)
Publication Date: September 16, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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. 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.
Will Self is the acclaimed author of such books as The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Great Apes, How the Dead Live, The Book of Dave, and Psychogeography. He won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread.