Dr Mukti and Other Tales of Woe
Shiva Mukti is a hardworking and conscientious psychiatrist, who, in the inauspicious surroundings of St Mungo's - a central London hospital of more than average decrepitude - does his level best to staunch the flow of mental illness. But Mukti is not a happy man, beset by thwarted ambition and sexual frustration, he now finds himself in thrall to the more successful and urbane Dr Zack Busner, consultant psychiatrist at Heath Hospital, and an originator of the once modish Quantity Theory of Insanity. Why is it that Busner seems so intent on fostering a professional relationship with Mukti? Is it his way of putting his junior colleague in his place? Or is Busner - as Mukti begins to suspect - a member of a sinister cabal? And what about the schizophrenic patients Busner refers to Mukti for his opinion, are they merely sick people, or in fact human weapons in a bizarre psychological duel?
- Hardback | 272 pages
- 145 x 207mm | 504g
- 05 Jan 2004
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- London, United Kingdom
Self returns with another collection of short fiction and, by now, we should know what to expect. Those who have read The Quantity Theory of Insanity will also be eased into this collection by the knowledge that its unsettling psychiatrist Zack Busner also features in the principle story in Dr Mukti. Busner again plays the supreme anti-hero in a story with much competition for that role. We witness Dr Mukti's decline from diligent psychiatrist to potential patient as Self cruelly twists and stretches what could be a pedestrian tale of mid-life crisis. Mukti, spurred on by professional jealousy, and his friend Elmley, clumsily confronting his own demons, soon find their lives and their future mental health in the hands of Busner.
About Will Self
Will Self is the author of THE QUANTITY THEORY OF INSANITY, shortlisted for the 1992 John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize and winner of the 1993 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, GREY AREA, COCK & BULL, MY IDEA OF FUN, JUNK MAIL, THE SWEET SMELL OF PSYCHOSIS, GREAT APES, TOUGH, TOUGH TOYS FOR TOUGH, TOUGH BOYS, DORIAN, and HOW THE DEAD LIVE, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2002. He lives in London.