View Full Version : Will Self review of THWWT

07-20-2013, 07:12 PM
I don't usually like Will Self, but he is interesting here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p016p5mb/profiles/will-self?oo=0). He gives away most of the plot though. I thought while reading the Father Brown stories that they reminded me a bit of the TV series, The Prisoner, and Self's description of TMWWT reinforces that impression. It's interesting the comparison with the The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. I read that book and was surprised that terrorist bombings occurred that long ago. The recent news stories over here of undercover police officers infiltrating environmental protest organisations and even marrying and having children with the other members makes the story topical too. Sounds like it has to go on the reading list.

03-17-2014, 08:47 AM
I have started reading this. So far, it seems nothing like The Secret Agent. The first three chapters remind me of a Men In Black plot. It is rather implausible (but that does not seem to matter to G.K. Chesterton stories). Chapter 4 in which Syme has a discussion with a policeman about Anarchist philosophers is more interesting, particularly in light of what the instigators of the Russian Revolution were cooking up at the time.

03-25-2014, 06:14 PM
Three chapters to go. I think I agree with Will Self in that it is a good book to give to a young person who is daunted by the prospect of 'literature'. I expect schoolboys might prefer it to Dickens or Austen or Hardy. Maybe when they've finished James and the Giant Peach or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There is an essay by Kingsley Amis in the back of my copy. According to Will Self, TMWWT was Kingsley's favourite book?