Books of the year 2010 | David Flusfeder

Walking to Hollywood by Will Self

Having only belatedly discovered the novels of Georges Simenon, I've pushed away all other books for a reading jag almost as obsessional as the spirit in which the author wrote them. But, before then, I was grateful for clues to understanding the financial chaos of the modern world provided by John Lanchester's Whoops! (Allen Lane, £25) and Michael Lewis's The Big Short (Allen Lane, £20), both of which are written with wisdom, insight and narrative verve. As for fiction, my favourites are Karl Marlantes's Matterhorn (Corvus, £16.99), which doesn't quite make it to the ranks of great war novels but nonetheless pulls the reader in and dumps him into the muddy mess of Vietnam, and Will Self's Walking to Hollywood (Bloomsbury, £17.99), which takes on the movies, LA, England, marriage, identity, psychosis and scale with Self's customary unrestrainable wit, intelligence and writerly skills.

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This article first appeared in the 22 November 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Advantage Cameron