Synopses & Reviews
When East End cabdriver Dave Rudman's wife takes from him his only son, Dave pens a gripping text--a compilation about everything from the environment, Arabs, and American tourists to sex, Prozac, and cabby lore--that captures all of his frustrations and anxieties about his contemporary world. Dave buries the book in his ex-wife's Hampstead backyard, intending it for his son, Carl, when he comes of age.
Five hundred years later, Dave's book is found by the inhabitants of Ham, a primitive archipelago in post-apocalyptic London, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportions and the template for a new civilization. Only one islander, Symum, remains incredulous. But, after he is imprisoned for heresy, his son Carl must journey through the Forbidden Zone and into the terrifying heart of New London to find the only thing that will reveal the truth once and for all: a second Book of Dave that repudiates the first.
The Book of Dave is a profound meditation upon the nature of religion and a caustic satire of contemporary life.
"Self achieves an elaborate vision of vicious superstition and hopeless struggle." New Yorker
"[Y]ou will marvel at the ingenuity of this highly literate, superbly written satire of what societies deem sacred." Library Journal
"[B]y turns acrid, funny and perversely moving." Kirkus Reviews
"Though his prose can be undisciplined, Self's energy and ideas pick up the slack and make this a remarkably sharp book about the many ways people can go terribly wrong." Seattle Times
"You're left with the intoxication of Self's wordplay and the clarity of his visions." Los Angeles Times
"He wields language with the blazing precision and confident brio of a Jedi knight slashing through darkness." Mineapolis Star Tribune
Dave Rudman, a disgruntled East End taxi driver, writes down his woes, frustrations, and pet peeves and buries them, only to have them discovered five hundred years later and used as the sacred text for a religion that has taken hold in the flooded remnants of London.
When cabdriver Dave Rudman's wife of five years deserts him for another man, taking their only child with her, he is thrown into a tailspin of doubt and discontent. Fearing his son will never know his father, Dave pens a gripping text part memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, and part handbook of "the Knowledge" learned by all London cab drivers. Meant for the boy when he comes of age, the book captures the frustration and anxiety of modern life. Five hundred years later, the Book of Dave is discovered by the inhabitants on the island of Ham, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportion, and its author is revered as a mighty prophet.
About the Author
Will Self is the critically acclaimed author of Cock and Bull, The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Great Apes, Sweet Smell of Psychosis, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys, My Idea of Fun,and the forthcoming The Undivided Self, among others. He lives in London.