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Some people lose their sense of proportion, others their sense of scale, but Simon Dykes, a middle-aged, successful London painter, has lost his sense of perspective in a most disturbing fashion. After a night of routine, pedestrian dabauchery, traipsing from toilet to toilet, and imbibing a host of narcotics on the way, Simon wakes up cuddled in his girlfriend's loving arms. Much to his dismay, however, his girlfriend has turned into a chimpanzee. To add insult to injury, the psychiatric crash team sent to deal with him as he flips his lid is also comprised of chimps. Indeed, the entire city is overrun by clever primates, who, when they are not jostling for position, grooming themselves, or mating some of the females, can be found driving Volvos, hanging out on street corners, and running the world. Nonetheless convinced that he is still a human, Simon is confined to the emergency psychiatric ward of Charing Cross Hospital, where he becomes the patient of Dr. Zack Busner, clinical psychologist, medical doctor, anti-psychiatrist, and former television personality -- an expert at the height of his reign as alpha male. As Busner attempts to convince him that 'everyone who is fully sentient in this world are chimpanzees, ' Simon struggles with the horrifying delusion that he is really a human trapped in a chimp's body.
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Like Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, Great Apes is a strange and twisted tale, a surreal satire on the human condition, and an omen for those who wander too far. After a long night of partying, Simon Dykes, a successful British painter, wakes up to find that his girlfriend has turned into a chimpanzee. In fact, the world Simon once knew has become a planet of apes. Convinced he is still human, Simon is confined to the emergency ward of a hospital and put under the care of Dr. Zack Busner, clinical psychologist, radical psychoanalyst, maverick drug researcher and media personality. Written with the glittering satiric edge that is Self's hallmark, Great Apes is a hilarious, disturbing, and truly unforgettable novel.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Editor's Choice "Best Books of the year"-Booklist
One of the Year's best novels-Time Out
"Swiftian tartness, Kafkaesque transformation and full tilt Monty Python-style surrealism propel [Great Apes], a hilarious, unusually discomfiting exploration of what it means to be human."-The Seattle Times
"A high-powered satirical weapon . . . with Great Apes, his most satisfying book so far, Will Self establishes himself as an alpha male in the British literary hierarchy."-The New York Times Book Review
"A fur-flying satire of Swiftian proportions."-Vanity Fair
"What makes [Great Apes] work is an inventive prose of vigorous verbs, high-tech terms, odd juxtapositions and a manic sensibility eager to wallow where others fear to tread."-Newsday
Will Self is the author of Cock & Bull, The Quantity Theory of Insanity, My Idea of Fun, and Grey Area. He lives in London.About the Author:
Will Self read philosophy at Oxford. He is the author of three other collections of short stories, three novellas, four novels (most recently Dorian) and four non-fiction works. As a journalist he has contributed to a plethora of publications over the years. He has a regular column in the Evening Standard and is also a frequent broadcaster on television and radio. Will lives in London with his wife and four children.'Brilliantly original, Will Self is one of those rare writers whose imaginations change for ever the way we see the world' JG Ballard 'Examining Mr Self's case notes, I recommend we up the dosage' Herald
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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0747529876