Cumming, Alan Tommy's Tale

ISBN 13: 9780060394448

Tommy's Tale

3.53 avg rating
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9780060394448: Tommy's Tale

"Until yesterday I'd had a carefree existence. It was great. I had a laugh with Charlie, we went out, did drugs, had great sex, had a laugh, I saw Finn, I had a laugh. And now today, today, since the second I opened my eyes, the pair of them had turned into ogres of potential angst, pain, and -- oh no, the worst of all -- responsibility."

Tommy is twenty-nine, lives and loves in London, and has a morbid fear of the c word -- commitment, the b word -- boyfriend, and the f word -- forgetting to call his drug dealer before the weekend. But when he begins to feel the urge to become a father, he starts to wonder if his chosen lifestyle can ever make him happy. His flatmates, the eccentric, maternal Sadie and the stoic, supportive Bobby, encourage Tommy to tone down his lifestyle a wee bit and accept the fact that he's got to grow up sometime. His boyfriend, Charlie (whose son, Finn, is the epitome of childhood charm), wishes that Tommy could make a real commitment to their relationship. But can he?

Faced with the choice of maintaining his hedonistic, drugged-out, and admittedly fabulous existence or chucking it all in favor of a far more sensitive, fulfilling, and -- let's face its -- lightly staid lifestyle, Tommy finds himself in a true quandary. Through a series of adventures and misadventures that lead him from London nightspots to New York bedrooms and back, our boy Tommy manages to answer some of life's most pressing questions -- and even some he never thought to ask.

Perfectly pitched, with scathing witticisms and deadpan observations, Tommy's Tale is a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek opus of absolute debauchery and reluctant redemption that's simply not to be missed.

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Review:

In his debut novel Tommy's Tale, Alan Cumming writes like the love child of Nick Hornby and Dan Savage. His protagonist, Tommy, an E-popping, pansexual Londoner, reads like one of Hornby's won't-grow-up urban Peter Pans. The plot, of course, lies in seeing these characters dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. Tommy eventually follows this story arc, but with a lot of absolutely filthy sex thrown in along the way--that's where the Dan Savage factor comes into play. Like that august columnist, Tommy never met a sex act he didn't want to a) engage in, and b) describe in lifelike detail. Aside from his sexcapades, Tommy spends his time hanging out with his sort-of boyfriend Charlie, working as a photographer's assistant, taking drugs, and creating a bohemian dream flat with his beloved roommates. His life is about fun until he finds himself growing attached to Charlie's 8-year-old son Finn. As a result of this relationship, he develops an itch to have a kid of his own, and the rest of this hyperkinetic, diaristic novel is devoted to that pursuit. Unfortunately, Tommy is a narrator utterly without a filter--he just natters on and on about whatever enters his head. At best, this style is chatty. At worst, it's out-and-out logorrhea. As an actor and a screenwriter, Alan Cumming is a dizzyingly sophisticated, gleefully ironic, and achingly sentimental force. Alan Cumming as an author is, well, not. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Alan Cumming's Tony Award-winning portrayal of the emcee in the Broadway musical Cabaret was one of the most celebrated performances of recent years. Most recently he coproduced, cowrote, codirected, and starred in the film The Anniversary Party with Jennifer Jason Leigh. He also appeared in the films Spy Kids, Titus, Emma, Eyes Wide Shut, Goldeneye, and Circle of Friends. He lives in New York and London.

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Cumming, Alan
Published by Regan Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060394447 ISBN 13: 9780060394448
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Cumming, Alan
Published by Regan Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060394447 ISBN 13: 9780060394448
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