Dalrymple’s forthcoming “satire on the health-and-safety culture” is now available for order at Monday Books. It ships within the next couple of weeks. You can order it here.
His 1995 satire So Little Done: The Testament of a Serial Killer is appended to the book, and with such a reasonable price, readers get quite a good deal. So Little Done is especially popular in the Netherlands, where it was made into a one-man play last year. If The Examined Life is as similar as it appears to be, it should get its point across in a very humorous way.
Monday Books had also planned an August release for Anything Goes, his first-ever collection of entirely new essays, but that has been pushed back to early next year.
I have just received and read this book. It was fascinating to see TD write some fiction.
Both of these works seemed to me to be experiments in taking certain arguments to their logical conclusions. Needless to say, both are extremely well written. “Anything Goes” is quite funny, but I found it almost a struggle to read due to its pedantic detail (the whole point of the story, really, and necessary to it). What an annoying character!
I found “So Little Done” riveting really. It reminded me of of two other fictional works: “Se7en” (screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, film directed by David Fincher) and the novel “A Philosophical Investigation” by Philip Kerr. Though I liked both of these, Dalrymple’s treatment is predictably deeper and more detailed.
I would like to re-read “So Little Done” several times, there are so many arguments propounded in it. I enjoyed wondering which of the character’s arguments TD sympathised with (because many a valid point is made). Ultimately I think the point was that although Mr Underwood is hard to refute at times, he is simply not a nice man. He lacks warmth (he is after all a psychopath), and no matter how clinically correct his arguments may be, that is far from enough to make a likeable human being. (It was most amusing by the way, how Underwood insists on pre-empting every possible counter-argument as if the reader has already made them against him.)
This is all top quality Dalrymple, but I would actually recommend reading the two stories some way apart otherwise one might confuse the two characters since both are first person accounts and extended self-justifications and both benefit from Dalrymple’s erudition and eloquent writing style.
I’d like to see some more fiction from TD.