tarting out as a stand-up comedian and cartoonist, Will Self delivered his first novel Cock and Bull
in 1992, imagining a world where men and women swap sexual organs. Later works include The Book of Dave
, in which a cab driver’s rants are unearthed 500 years later and received as a hallowed text, and more recently The Butt
, a political allegory based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
. Self is also a prolific writer of non-fiction and short stories and is frequently called upon to add wit and bile to the proceedings of shows on UK television (most notably as a guest team captain on Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's bizarre quiz show Shooting Stars
). We put a few questions to the novelist to celebrate the release of Walking to Hollywood
. Below are the graciously reluctant answers. Last walk you did?
A winter walk from Winchester along the South Downs way in deep white snow. So strange to see England looking like Siberia. Best walk?
The Broomway, a medieval causeway along the Thames estuarine mud from Foulness Island to Southend—as close as you can come to a desert within 30 miles of London.
Favorite thing about LA?
It's sheer polymorphous perversity—all of human life is here, in this it is truly one of the mondial cities.
Worst LA experience?
Nearly being busted by the LAPD after stonedly forgetting I was in the States and taking a right across the central reservation upon leaving a gas station.Favorite film?
.Favorite literary character?
Stavrogin in The Possessed.Last record you listened to?
Bruch's Violin Concerto.
On my desk you'll find...
Many tsotchkes of all types, including a giant ball-bearing, a plaster bust of Schumann, and a Groma Kolibri typewriter as featured in The Lives of Others.
Answering dumb-ass questionnaires.
Answering them with good grace apart from the above.