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.
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org