The Book of Dave - Will Self
Imagine a biblical Job transported to the 1990s and working as a cabbie. Imagine him driven into psychosis and recording all his racist, misogynist ranting in a notebook – which centuries later becomes the religious tract of the few surviving families amid the flood waters of what remains of London.
Every detail of dialect, instinct, pack mentality and plausible extrapolation of current social decline is worked into this excellent novel. The language of the future people is very hard to follow:
F slorwa, iss iz big da – for example, but well worth the effort to get into their subsistence farming lifestyle.
The chapters of the book switch between 523/4 AD (Anno Dave!) where the story of the people of Ham takes place, and 2000/3 the last 3 years of Dave's life during which his 'book of Dave' was written.
In the post flood world, all the power structures of politics, religion (and misogyny) have reappeared with Lawyers, Drivers, Gaffers, Geezers, Getters, Examiners, Inspectors, the PCO (the priestly hierarchy of Ing).
Most tellingly, opares – women from adolescence to mummydom, during which period they perform childcare duties and aren't excluded from the dads in the otherwise gender-segregated society of Ham.
The main story in the future world is Carl and Antone's trip to find Symun, these being the characters that had the wit to doubt the sanity and Davinanity of the life they'd been born into, and to pay any attention to their own 'mummyself'!
books, dystopia, psychology, religion, satire, Will Self, fiction