Publication Date: December 22, 2009
Categories: Essays & Travelogues
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Building on their first successful collaboration, more Self and Steadman on the oddities of place in the contemporary world.Will Self’s satiric eye and hyperactive prose meet once again with Ralph Steadman’s manic hand and effulgent color, creating the coveted sequel to their collaboration Psychogeography: here is Psycho Too. In this energetic romp through an all-new landscape, Self and Steadman further explore the effects of our geographical environment—natural, man-made, or man-manipulated—on our emotions and behavior, and the interplay of surroundings and self. In the introductory essay, Self sets out to walk the entire length of Britain—or, more precisely, a Britainshaped island off the coast of Dubai, part of the artificial archipelago of private isles replicating, in miniature, all the world’s landmasses. Fifty additional short essays cover terrain from Istanbul to Los Angeles, East Yorkshire to Easter Island, all accompanied by Steadman’s inimitable illustrations. Psycho Too is a dazzling guide to the wheres and wherefores of the way we live now.
Will Self is the author of six novels, four collections of short stories, three novellas, and five works of nonfiction. He has written for newspapers and magazines and appeared regularly on television and radio. He lives in London. Ralph Steadman has illustrated many books and written several more. He lives in Kent.
“A match made in some crazed, satirical heaven: Will Self and Ralph Steadman. A continuation and expansion of themes from an earlier collaboration, “Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place,” itself a wild and crazy sociological look into the character of different spots around the globe. In “Two,” Self and Steadman cover more turf in some 50 short, illustrated studies.”—San Diego Union Tribune
“50+ quick, fierce sketches, each as arresting as the burp of an automatic weapon: he takes a walk, he engages in astutely freewheeling association, he creates an intense little world on the page. Ralph Steadman’s artwork catches the mood of Self’s progress—spidery ink-pocked phantasmagoria, waxy with menace, twisted, hallucinatory.” —Barnes and Noble Review
"The pairing of Steadman with Self inevitably draws comparisons with [Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson] and in this way "Psycho Too" may be seen as a post-rehab take on the "new journalism" — one that begins with 12 steps and just keeps going.”—Associated Press
“Electrifying… hyper-reactive, peeling hot off the page in real time. Like “Psychogeography,” this new collection takes us on a fresh tour of the planet. To add to the otherworldly brilliance of this densely written, vividly explored collection, each essay is accompanied by a witty, occasionally shocking and always visceral Ralph Steadman illustration. It’s hard to imagine that Self’s picturesque words need any illustration, but in a world so flattened by recession and dreary retrenchment, it is refreshing to be rewarded with such extravagant fare.”—New York Times Book Review
“The quirky follow-up to the author/illustrator duo’s Psychogeography. [Steadman’s] pictures do far more than illustrate—they amuse, illuminate, amplify and, at times, almost editorialize on Self’s text. Self crafts countless striking, buoyant phrases and/or sentences (“Wasps swarm on the lumps of chicken and beef we’ve left for them, then, too obese to sting, they blade-hop back to their subterranean nest in the rockery by the pool”). A journalistic feast best savored in small bites over several days.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Self's scabrous, amphetamine prose revels in odd details and twisted associations. Steadman’s evocative illustrations, which look as if Jackson Pollock had dripped on cartoons by Picasso, provide an appropriately demented visual commentary. [Self’s] eye for seldom-trod byways and offbeat insights make him a diverting travel companion.” —Publishers Weekly