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Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (Signed First Edition)

Will Self

810 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802116442 / ISBN 13: 9780802116444
Published by Grove, 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Grove [1999]. First edition. First Printing. Hardbound, new unread copy, fine/fine but for one top corner slightly bumped. Shipped in sturdy box with bubble wrap. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on on title page and dated by him in NYC in 2013. Smoke free shop. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # tip18

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (...

Publisher: Grove

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title


The New York Times Book Review has called Will Self "a defiant satirist with a peculiar mastery of the vocabulary of modern neurosis", and Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys is a dazzling foray into his funhouse world. Status-conscious New Yorkers navigate the perils of dating along with their very literal "inner children". A man is seduced into a misanthropically charged symbiosis with the insects infesting his cottage. In "The Rock of Crack as Big as the Ritz", a black Londoner discovers an enormous rock of crack cocaine underpinning his house -- and quickly turns it into an efficient little empire. In the title story a psychoanalyst strips away all the sang froid of his professionalism to find beneath . . . precisely nothing. Sharp, funny, and packed with verbal fireworks, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys confirms yet again Will Self's stature as one of the most accomplished and original writers of his generation.


Will Self's tabloid-friendly reputation as a connoisseur of proscribed substances should not obscure the fact that he can write many of his contemporaries under the table. His latest collection, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys, is filled with typically Selfish confections: gritty chunks of reality wrapped in a sweet shell of exquisitely funny and intelligent writing. Admittedly, some of the stories here feel a little underdeveloped, as if the author were flexing his literary muscles and showing how easily he can make highbrow style dirty-dance with his lowbrow obsessions, but even the least of them is a bravura performance by an expert wordsmith. Self's obvious pleasure in bringing his extraordinary talents to bear on the seamiest of subjects is irresistible: the description of a crack cocaine rush that closes the first story, for example, is quite possibly more intoxicating than the drug itself.

But the greater part of the book complements that dazzling style with deeper pleasures. As he ranges from the hilarious tale of a remarkable infant who babbles in business German ("Bemess-bemess-bemessungsgrundlage!") to a troubled psychiatrist's journey toward the abyss, Self shows an uncanny knack for mixing realism and absurdity. The closing piece, a short novella about a wrongly convicted sex offender's attempt to win a short-story prize, is the most assured of all. In this author's hands, the barely articulate conversations of career criminals are transformed into poetry, and the struggles of the central character are both moving and wickedly funny:

In prison, in the English winter, the word crepuscular acquires new resonance, new intensity.... For here and now is an eternity of forty-watt bulbs, an Empty Quarter of linoleum, and a lost world of distempered walls. It's an environment of corridors and walkways, a space that taunts with the idea of progression towards arrival; then delivers only a TV room full of modular plastic chairs and Styrofoam beakers napalmed by fag ends.
In Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys Will Self shows once again that he's someone to be reckoned with. The kind of writer a society needs, he uses his wit as a crowbar to pry open the cracks in our culture. --Simon Leake

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