Gilbert Cruz
November 10, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Book of Dave

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Will Self
publisher
Bloomsbury
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

London cabdriver Dave Rudman has a lot to be angry about in Will Self’s The Book of Dave, especially his ex-wife, who’s run off with their only son. So he writes an insane, ranting book and buries it in her backyard. Five hundred years later, the citizens of a flooded England base their entire society on it and worship the titular tome. Self seamlessly toggles between the two time periods, giving equal depth to frustrated, sympathetic Dave and to the inhabitants of the post-apocalyptic future. The bastardized Cockney language of 523 A.D. (anno Dave), while sometimes difficult to understand, is one of the book’s most puzzling yet satisfying joys.

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