There is finally a U.S./Canada publication date for Will Self’s new novel, Umbrella. The book will hit stores in January, 2013. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, here’s a review of the book by The Telegraph.
One of the things reviewers have noted is that Self doesn’t use chapters or breaks throughout the novel. No doubt, it might make it more difficult to read. But it reminds of Jose Saramago, the author of Blindness and Seeing. I have several of his novels and there is little punctuation and certainly no chapters or paragraph breaks. And yet to read his novel is like listening to calming music. The first time I looked at one of the books, I thought, oh no, this is going to be horrendous to get through. But that wasn’t the case.
Then you have authors like James Patterson who will start a new chapter every three to five pages in some of his books. I do like some of Patterson’s stuff, though, so that’s not a complaint, just an observation.
Getting back to Self, the lack of breaks isn’t what will make the book challenging. It’s the ideas, the words — Self is famous for challenging readers, despite his recent admission that he doesn’t write for readers.