Will: A Memoir by Will Self

Not for me. Might be for you.

After having binged a number of Will Self's lectures/debates/interviews online, and having read Tough, Tough Toys..., I wanted to know more. I love his quickness and breadth. I love his disregard for formality and propriety, and complete focus on The Empirically Lived Interesting Stuff of life.

e.g., The benefits of nicotine, the state of Brexit, the map to and of creativity, the absurdity of domesticity. Politics, drugs, walking around. it's all on the table, and it's all interestingly woven together by Will Self.

Knowing he came from addiction made me think there'd be an interesting trajectory from then to now. How does one occupy that repetitive, uni-dimensional, consuming act of the hard-drug taking, and then become — or at least maintain — so versed in so much else? How do the skills and wit persist? Shouldn't this guy be either dead or at least burnt out? And yet he's still motivated, productive, and prolific. That's amazing, and I want to know more.

But about a third of the way through the book — where I stopped — I got the feeling this memoir would be more of a Hunter S Thompson/William Boroughs style, front to back recounting of the that nether land of drug induced reality, as well as what drove Self there and what kept him there. Looking forward at the chapter names, you realize (for me, disappointingly after the fact) that this only covers ~7 years of Self's life — from 18 to 25 years old. I guess that still counts as a memoir, but I mistakenly thought this would be The Memoir of his life (so far).

While the content enclosed is well written and interesting, I've graduated passed the point where this kind of stuff is interesting to me (see the formerly mentioned similar authors, but also I've had enough Bukowski and Lou Reed and whatever else, too.) I'm interested in those who have also graduated past it and how they did it.