Gray Area-Will Self
Short Story Collection
The latest collection of short stories by Will Self explores a world so saturated with sensory stimulation its inhabitants are immune to it. In the minds of his characters, vastly complicated interior worlds and conspiracies are formed as protection against the monotony and emptiness of life.
After working my way through Umbrella, I discovered Gray Area on a dusty shelf and decided to return to his short stories, surely they were not like umbrella but rather were full of intense wit. Like The Quantity Theory of Insanity, this is an extraordinary group of stories. They are set in very diverse universes ranging from our own to a dystopian smog choked town to an equally dystopian Company in stasis to Busner (yes, Umbrella's Zack) in a drug trial of Inclusion. These universes are tied together with gossamer threads of post-modernist witty disconnect between man and his environment. You are left with the sense that if you were to read it all over again, you'd find more connections between the disparate worlds. It's really quite impressive how fully realized each story was with full character development.