For readers who may not have availed themselves of Will Self’s oeuvre, Geoff Nicholson wraps it up in a tidy package:
We might argue about whether Self is a satirist, but to the extent that all satire requires an object of attack, here he seems above all to be attacking palliatives. The kinds of self-medication that help many of us get throughbooze, drugs, sex, religion, artwon’t make things any better in the end, he suggests, and in some cases will destroy us.
All this may make Self sound like a godless nihilist, but I think he’s only the first. The refusal to believe in easy solutions is a long way from believing in nothing at all. Like all satirists, he’s also a moralist.