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What the Hell Are You Doing?: The Essential David Shrigley Hardcover – October 24, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“At once skillfully crafted and playfully satirical....[Shrigley is] a master of quirk….What the Hell Are You Doing [is] filled with even more of his idiosyncratic genius.” (Black Book)

“With his text-heavy, inked figures and mordant sensibility, David Shrigley could be reductively described as the British Raymond Pettibon. But Shrigley’s use of outside-art non-technique can radiate a lovable coyness as much as it does caustic bite….His new visual-art compilation, What the Hell Are You Doing?...functions well as both introduction and encapsulation of Shrigley’s wonderfully askew faux-naive vision.” (Stephen Gossett - Flavorpill)

“The work of David Shrigley is sort of everything you could ever ask from scratchy line drawings, and a whole lot more….It’s weird and spastic, and uncomfortable, and savage, and profound, and somehow tender, behind all that.” (Flavorwire)

“It is useless, attempting to categorize David Shrigley as an artist. His work has a free and easy feel, a rough-draft quality reinforced by his imprecise lines and habit of marking textual errors in finished pieces….Shrigley’s work is by turns playful, caustic, and grotesque―even, at times, incisive―but each of these distinct tones comes across as genuine.” (John McIntyre - The Rumpus)

“With a casual gesture Shrigley points to that hideous shape whose name I've never known-and then he names it. . . . I'm laughing while frantically searching for a pen, so desperate to capture the feeling he has unearthed in me.” (Miranda July)

“This year's best gift book, for a crazy person you really, really like.... It's a funny, sick, morally stimulating mind-bender, the best bathroom book of the new decade.” (Dwight Garner - New York Times)

“Shrigley’s bold-lined drawings which at first may appear like crude Sharpie doodles, are intentionally heavy-handed and display the artist’s observations on what is a crude world. Often laugh-out-loud hilarious and occasionally mildly disturbing...” (Chicago Pipeline)

“Shrigley’s work is hard to peg down….It’s simple yet brilliant. But one thing that is always consistent―Shrigley’s stuff is always hilarious.” (Largehearted Boy)

“Starred review. Taken cumulatively, Shrigley’s comic illustrations and words have the effect of a miraculous mental booster drug.” (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

David Shrigley has worked as a sculptor, photographer, cartoonist, author, and illustrator, and has shown work in London's Tate Gallery and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has directed animated music videos for such artists as Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

Will Self (b. 1961) is an English novelist and journalist. His Independent column of offbeat walking tours, “Psychogeography,” has been collected into an eponymously titled book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (October 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393082474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393082470
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shrigley's humor defies description. It brightens my day to read a page or two from this book each morning. I also highly recommend his postcard booklets as you'll never have more fun sending postcards to your friends (or enemies) than with Shrigley's unique take on the human condition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shrigley just knows the killer word to put with his perfectly spastic drawings. The combination puts me in stitches. If honesty over everything is your speed, you will love this. If you prefer your comedy light I suggest, instead, you watch the Vicar of Dibly.
If Bill Hicks or Louis CK is too dark for you, or you are an high-art snob please steer clear.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disillusioned with modern life and still enjoy living it? Love brilliant wit in simple line art and written expression? I bought six copies and gave them to my best friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite artists, incredibly funny and weird book. Leave it on your coffee table and impress your friends.
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Format: Hardcover
David Shrigley is always great, and his drawings repeatedly make me laugh out loud even when I'm alone. An affordable book like this is a really great idea.

I am beginning to think that the author of the introduction, Will Self, must be a joke persona made up by the publishing industry who writes self-indulgent (get it?) introductions. This one is a self-advertisement that starts with "I" and doesn't stop there. Sometimes the introduction to a book can be illuminating and can enhance my appreciation. A book like this deserves an introduction that matches Shrigley's style and humor. The one it got is garbage.

I'm not saying I'm hung up on the introduction. It really does suck, but the rest of the book is great as expected.
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