From Library Journal
Like Kafka's Gregor Samsa, London artist Simon Dykes has suffered a surprising transformation?he's become a chimpanzee. So has everyone else around him, but he doesn't realize it. Dumped in a mental hospital for his delusional thinking, Simon comes under the care of Dr. Busner (an alpha male) and tries to understand the strange new world around him. Chimpanzees are indeed the ascendant primates; humans are a fading offshoot that have simply failed to learn how to sign or vocalize properly. As one might expect from Self (Cock & Bull, LJ 3/1/93), this situation provides ample opportunity for a lacerating send-up of contemporary human society, and Self can be very funny. But as a whole it doesn't really work. The alternative chimp society is not persuasive, and Self is too busy with bad-boy langauge and obsessive sex to get at deeper issues. Buy where Self is popular.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Simon Dykes is a successful London painter who arrives at a point where he ponders the futility of life: he's in the throes of serious angst, particularly his corporeal self is weighing him down. His latest apocalyptic paintings are disturbing and reflect his narcissistic fixation on the body. So he decides to forgo drugs on the fateful evening that he is to meet his lady, the lovely Sarah Peasenhulme, and the rest of their clique; but then the evening assumes its own momentum and drugs flow bountifully. After a night of halting lovemaking, Simon awakens to find himself in bed with an ape, a chimpanzee. Soon he discovers he is in a world dominated by chimpanzees. Despite appearances, Simon maintains that he is a human and hovers on the brink of madness until Dr. Zack Busner, clinical psychologist, maverick drug researcher, former television personality, and alpha male at the top of his reign, decides to take on the case and bring Simon to an understanding of his "chimpunity." Self creates a fully realized chimp world with this Kafkaesque, or Swiftian, satire that hypnotizes with its comic romps, existential posturings, and Shakespearean intrigues. Certain to find a readership beyond Self loyalists. Bonnie Smothers