* Prices may differ from that shown
Published in UK: 1996
Junk Mail, the book, works as an honest, frank, journey that Will Self had endured, at the beginning of the 1990's to mid-way through the decade. Unusually, the publication takes on the identity of a self-medicated, journalistic sketch-book. One what you'll be lured into whilst doing a post graduate course in 'peering at the purple rim of the anal' - the content is non-fictional, full of the abstract, and as per se frog-marches the inane and uninspiring into the fantastical.
Junk Mail is a collection of book reviews - cartoons - self-absorbed interviews - peruses and rituals - all of which has a place in this book. Encasing popular culture with satirical analogies - topped nicely off with social disdain, and Self's grotesque inner being publicly aired. 'Junk Mail' was the new fad word of the day, delivered here for you.
Deliverance from feeble
The publication is a reminder the written word, regardless of format, has a right to be heard if your fortunate enough to have a readership who'll be interested enough to purchase such a publication. Evidently Self had, and so indeed his adoring UK fan-base catapulted Junk Mail into trans-Atlantic waters, whereby the Americans were left rather more than baffled at Self's homeland popularity, due to its cryptic verse - of course this was before the unified phenomenon of the inter-web and globalisation; all being told, Junk Mail in hindsight probably wasn't the right choice to go trans-Atlantic with. For many, Will Self was an American non-entity, albeit known to be sprinkled with a highly acclaimed gift for writing; little did they know they'll be thrown to the lions of wordage - enriched unlawfully by his personae endeavours, and intellectual minds of the likes of J G Ballard and Martin Amis who engage in conversation as if prized matadors flexing their grey-cells - 'corrida de toros;' commence, the running of bull (s)
Written during the time of 'Brit-Pop' - 'Cool Britannia' and the sudden rise of obscene price hikes in the world of contemporary art and sculpture - new concepts was pushing the boundaries of convention in all mediums of expression at the time. It seemed all forms of communicative media were acceptable, under the union jack banner of popular culture. If a time was ever right for Self to publish his cartoons 'Junk Mail' was the publication. The concepts and satirical peruses which the cartoons poked satire towards; sparkled alone, without the 'witty' mark making and doodles Self's pen dabbled over.
At a period of history whereby, John Major was PM, in name, not in spirit; Thatcherism's' iron-lady grasp is loosening, due to the erosion of rust, and Kenneth Clark parading like a bumptious peacock - Obviously the narrator of Henry's Cat.' The sign of the times was a full milky breast for Will Self's wafer-thin body; 'he' was the epitome of 'Pulp's 'Common-People' hit; almost Jarvis Cocker-esque - drain-piped Levis, snorting substances, and a vision of 'default gothic;' regardless of seasonal mercury gauges.
Readers of small anecdotal observations will enjoy 'Junk Mail' - especially those of you who've got a retention span of fifteen minutes tops. Self's inflated self assurance and written meditations allows his readership to seek into the mind of Self by being able to read his collective articles, reviews, and inspiring columns, (Observer, Guardian, Evening Standard) in this book. And yet there are far more descriptive terms, involving bodily phallic functions, fluids, plus the grotesque exploration of narcotics, which will enrich his disciples, not including the romanticism of such illegalities. Engineered profoundly and delving into the world of Self; whilst in Amsterdam, and edging slowly towards an entity of normality: albeit, that's pushing it; however, creatively satirical.
Not to be sniffed at
His first-hand drug knowledge is well documented, due to a newspaper dropping him for snorting heroin on a plane which was in transit with John Major on the campaign trial. This story ran its odious course for a fortnight and inevitably super-seeded anything of worth the Conservatives had up their sleeve to prize away any red army voters.
Sparse in notable book reviews with actual punch, Self dips into grotesque cannibalism with Jeffrey Dahmer's (body parts in freezers) analogy by his maternal Pa; but it is an assuage piece. I found myself biting my arm for comfort. 'Junk Mail' floods to William Burroughs to Faithful with a surprisingly touching comment about a famous film maker called Mr. W. Allen, is worth perusing over - and back to J. G. Ballard again whose influences spear-head a young Self into the myriad of character building. Whose fixation in science fiction was so seismic in his early teens, it's with him today. Indeed 'Junk mail' appears as an 'internal glossary' for all Will Self's influences and battles that advertently shape what he writes about in the future, and still is apparent, fifteen years after this publication.
Most of the profiles that are introduced in this book also make appearances in most of his seven novels thereafter 'Junk Mail' - Famous acquaintances pop-up notoriously in a Self production, just as if he is continuously updating his own biography in the genres of fiction or non fiction, cross-off where appropriate; blurring the genres of fiction and non fiction, marinating them with style and cohesion. Having lived his youthful life in Hampstead - London - his personalised accounts stimulated by meticulous observations in the capital, including the grim decrepit locations and their residence in the same vein as basking in the lavish. 'Junk Mail' leaves no paving stone left unturned. Satire at it's most raw.
A must read - don't leave it on the 'self!'