Dorian: An Imitation

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Grove Press, 2002 - Fiction - 277 pages
68 Reviews
The New York Times Book Review has praised Will Self as a "high-powered satirical weapon" and an "alpha male in the British literary hierarchy." Now he confirms his place among our most important writers by offering an imitation of the most shocking novel of its time.

Summer, 1981. It is an age when appearances matter more and more. Only the shallowest people won't judge by them. Henry Wotton, gay, drug-addicted, and husband of Batface, the irrefutably aristocratic daughter of the Duke of This or That, is at the center of a clique dedicated to dissolution. His friend Baz Hallward, an artist, has discovered a young man who is the very epitome of male beauty -- Dorian Gray. His installation, Cathode Narcissus, captures all of Dorian's allure and, perhaps, something else. After a night of debauchery that climaxes in a veritable conga line of buggery, Wotton and Hallward are caught in the hideous web of a retrovirus that becomes synonymous with the decade.

Sixteen years later the Royal Broodmare, as Wotton has dubbed her, lies dying in a Parisian underpass. But what of Wotton and Hallward? How have they fared as stocks soar and T-cell counts plummet? And what of Dorian? How is it that he remains so youthful while all around him shrivel and die? Set against the AIDS epidemic of the eighties and nineties, Will Self's Dorian is a shameless reworking of our most significant myth of shamelessness, brilliantly evoking the decade in which it was fine to stare into the abyss, so long as you were wearing two pairs of Ray-Bans.

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Review: Dorian

User Review  - Goodreads

Brilliantly intense Read full review

Review: Dorian

User Review  - Simon Pressinger - Goodreads

First, a confession. I have yet to read 'A Picture of Dorian Grey', and indeed I have little doubt that if I had, then my reading of Will Self's modern reboot will have been a little richer / better ... Read full review

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References to this book

Contemporary British Novel
Philip Tew
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (2002)

William Woodard "Will" Self was born on September 26, 1961. He is a British author, journalist and political commentator. He wrote ten novels, five collections of short fiction, three novellas and five collections of non-fiction writing. His novel Umbrella was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His subject matter often includes mental illness, illegal drugs and psychiatry. Self is a regular contributor to publications including Playboy, The Guardian, Harpers, The New York Times and the London Review of Books. He also writes a column for New Statesman, and over the years he has been a columnist for The Observer, The Times and the Evening Standard. His columns for Building Design on the built environment, and for the Independent Magazine on the psychology of place brought him to prominence as a thinker concerned with the politics of urbanism. Will Self will deliver the closing address at the 2015 Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) 2015.

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