Book Review: 2012 Longlisted: Will Self's Umbrella

The journey that was Umbrella…

On page 50. Not sure but I am pretty sure that I have figured out that the main characters are called Audrey and Busner. Not sure what year. Not sure if Busner is the psychiatrist or the patient. Audrey seems to be from a cockney-type family because of all of the phonetic writing. And she has a relative called Rothschild Death because he wears a rich looking coat. Lots and LOTS of italics being used. No quotation marks, lots of … and sentences that end abruptly. Oh and someone is an ape-man. Not sure what chapter I am on. Aaron says to stick with it Penny says not to…

Another 50 pages and MAYBE it is becoming more cohesive. Busner is the psych, Audrey is the patient. He doesn’t think she is crazy. Lots of big words to look up, some even don’t show in the dictionary but have to be researched on-line. I’m finding it a lot easier to read on the iPad than I did the nook– still no punctuation or paragraphs tho– awfully annoying phonetic Cockney spelling that I HATE. Looking forward to getting to the next chapter (YES! there are chapters– but only 5. All are called Umbrella).

Surprisingly, I put it down because I have to not because I want to. Busner is trying to find out how Audrey got in the institution. He thinks it might be Parkinson’s? Not Parkinson’s– untreated encephalitis. There’s a drug for that! Is that what this is about? This could get interesting.

Page 155– Nope! Lost again. Bustner was talking to an old psyche (Marcus) about Audrey and it got pretty interesting. Then it jumped to his homosexual Jewish uncle who has catalogued every penis and arsehole he ever encountered (they found a ledger of wieners after he died). And just when that got interesting it jumped back to Or-dree and some Enigmarelle? Man of Steel? What? And now Stanley and Albert= yawn! Their last name is Death. Derth? De’Ath? She went with her father to a brothel? Huh?? Are they making a fricken robot? I am soooooo confused! (Oh! I looked it up– Enigmarelle is some early vaudevillian robot that is creepy.)

When will this book f**ing end??? Only halfway done– WTF. I am tired of looking up words– most of which don’t even show up in the dictionary so you need to go on-line. I cannot even imagine reading this one in paper. I mustn’t be intelligent enough to get this!! Why does he need to make it so difficult?? It will probably win just because it is sooooo f**king “different”.

Sean read a page of this book and said– WTF is this? There is not a coherent sentence on the page. Yes, yes, it is true! taken right from the page:

Busner hopes his abruptness conveys his own spiritual inclinations: holy speed, in mens sano, shit off a shovel . . . – Okay, good. Thank you, he says again, backing away towards the day-room. — At the hastily convened press conference Mimi and Miriam are placed centre stage in drag of dull suit with clip-on sideburns – Whitcomb with them, the eggheaded Professor who wears an explosive string vest. Phallic microphones probe at their unyielding mouths as they announce the mainland bombing campaign, but the real supremo, the diabolic mastermind, sits to one side lost in a donkey jacket too large for him, his small head shrunken still more beneath that ice bag of a tweed cap.

Rushing! Rushing to get it done!! I really want to STOP READING THIS HORRIBLE BOOK but for the sake of the project I will finish! This is like a homework assignment from your worse teacher EVER!

Ok– that was IT?????? That was the most effort I have ever had to put into a read– and there was ABSOLUTELY no reward!!! I PRAY (and I am not religious) for the sake of my fellow BookerMarkers that this does not make the short list so they do not have to go through the TORTURE of reading this “book”! 1 star. Sorry Penny– should have listened!!! I want my hours back!!!

This review was posted simultaneously on BookerMarks by Jackie.