I just find him rather fabulous for a number of reasons. One of the most important one is that somehow, he is the only (mainstream) public commentator who is allowed to say whatever he likes, and that involves being non-PC, dry, cynical, misanthropic, rude - but always in a very knowing, witty, verbose, intelligent way - and it is often incredibly funny, but not in a stand-up comedian way, which I absolutely loathe.
He excels at spotting the most grotesque aspects of the human condition and of the society/world we live in.
I have a few of Mr Self's books and I have to admit they are not an easy read - they are sometimes downright unreadable and not particularly enjoyable, but only in my opinion, mind, I am not a very "literary" reader - but I love his essays, articles and his broadcasting work. Reading an interview with him is always highly entertaining and interesting.
The latest one I've read was in free Men's magazine Shortlist, and there are some gems in there:
"Books are like children. They kind of leave home and grow up. Some of them end up shoving beer bottles up their jacksies trying to get money for crack. And others become respectful small-town solicitors."
I also love his take on the Olympics and Paralympics!
"I loathe that shit." [...] "It's a total fucking lie from top to bottom. Just to take one aspect of it, competitive sport doesn't make people better, it makes people worse. Psychologically, it makes people worse people." [...] "How often do you meet an elite athlete that has done antyhing else in any other walk of life? Is Usain Bolt going to paint a fantastic painting or do some neurosurgery? So what's the fucking point?"
You can read the full interview HERE.
Mr Self's website complete with blog is HERE.
Respect - and good luck for the Man Booker prize, Mr Self!