peteg's blog

Will Self: The Quantity Theory of Insanity

/noise/books | Link

I read a lot of Will Self ten to fifteen years ago, in my impressionable youth. This is the first time I've read him since then, and this collection is a lot weaker than I remember. I only really enjoyed the titular piece, and even then not so much; the idea of reductivist studies is still funny, but these days it is played out in the real world, far too literally. I imagine that if he wrote that story now he would point to Madoff's ponzi scheme, providing quality financial services to the financiers. Self is too smart to be authentically empathetic; unlike Douglas Adams his humour to enlightenment ratio tends toward the brutal.

Shutter Island

/noise/movies | Link

I didn't really get into this. The suspenseful stuff dragged, and the twists left me cold. The ultimate one (if I got it right) is too subtle after the earlier blunderbuss revelations. Scorsese makes everything look great, as usual, but I am yet to see more than a still-blank canvas in DiCaprio. How much longer can he remain boyish, in a faux and hackneyed tough-guy pose? Dennis Lehane wrote the book on which this was based.

Nothing much here for me.