Geoff dyer

Favourite books revisited: Rob Doyle’s edgy reading list

‘Male writers now are the opposition party, and that may not be such a bad thing for them.’ So Rob Doyle writes in this addictive self-portrait/collection of reviews. And if male writers are now in navel-gazing opposition, ousted by a landslide of female talent, judging by this book Doyle is one of their most reactionary members, still in thrall to those outmoded frontbenchers who were long ago elevated to the Lords: Nietzsche, Huysmans, Bataille, Houellebecq, Amis Jr. His themes (male heterosexuality, aggression, drug use, alienation, philosophy) and consciously euphonious style reek of what he, in a scathing passage of self-reflection, calls a ‘desperate desire to be edgy’. And, by the