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The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce

The Tooth Fairy

by Graham Joyce

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4662022,116 (3.74)31
  1. 00
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: Both authors are so adept at horror that you are left with a tangible feeling of "ick" at book's end.
  2. 00
    The Exchange by Graham Joyce (Booksloth)

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Graham Joyce surely is one of the most underrated authors...is this possibly because he is so hard to market? Is he horror? Is he fantasy? Or possibly `social surrealism'...?

What ever he is his stories are strange, magical and original and he fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

He likes to instill in the reader a feeling of lingering uneasiness …. ‘You come away from the book feeling your perception of the world has been just been knock slightly askew away from what you previously thought to be normal’ Graham refuses to come down on one side or the other of the ideas he presents in his novel, it is all about ambiguity and uncertainty

Sam, Clive and Terry are ordinary (ish) boys growing up in the 1960s until one day when Clive punches Sam in the mouth and knocks out a tooth. …Sam puts the tooth under his pillow at bedtime…as you do

He wakes up during the night and first lays eyes on the Tooth Fairy “oddly dressed and smelling of horse’s sweat and chamomile”.

Tinkerbelle this Fairy is not …it is an angry, bitter and viscous looking creature from nightmare.

Thus begins a strange, disturbing sometimes touching relationship with the Tooth Fairy as it dogs Sam’s footsteps through childhood and into adolescence.

The Tooth Fairy, whose appearance, mood and sex change constantly makes for a rather unpredictable, mercurial companion - sometimes protecting Sam other times tormenting him, bullying and threatening him and his family. The Fairy is a character in its own right with its own moods and emotions, jealously, lust, spite, anger and touching moments of tenderness. The author skilfully coveys the wild, unpredictable primeval nature of the Tooth Fairy.

Without the supernatural element, the adolescent adventures of Sam and his friends would have made a brilliantly funny ‘rites of passage’ novel…all petty vandalism (though making pipe bombs in your Dad’s shed is hardly petty), growing pains and awakening sexuality.

The novel is brilliantly structured, well characterised and entirely compelling and the elegant writing at times is almost prose with a whimsical and nostalgic tone.

This novel shows that horror fiction doesn’t not have to be high octane ‘gore splatter’ serial killing zombies but that it can be beautiful, compulsive, hilarious, tragic, magical and very, very funny …oh very, very rude! ( )
  jan.fleming | May 2, 2013 |
This is a very unusual coming-of-age tale that's as much a horror story as it is a warped English version of The Outsiders. The story starts off the with the proposition: What would happen if you lost a tooth and then deposited beneath your pillow without telling your parents? Would the tooth fairy still arrive during the dark of night and snatch your tooth, leaving coinage in its place? The tooth fairy in this tale becomes more a symbol for the young boy's dark side than a carefree sprite. I thought that this book was an amazing journey through a troubled adolescence. Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish. ( )
  hayduke | Apr 3, 2013 |
This is a very dark, somewhat uncomfortable story about growing up.
Though there's not a huge amount of plot - it sort of drifts from one year to the next - it follows Sam and his group of friends from 7 or so years old all the way through graduating from high school.

In some ways, and I'm not sure why, this book sort of reminds me of Lev Grossman's The Magicians. They've both got this almost angst, not really horror, "live is so messed up" sort of feel to them. I'm sure the drug and alcohol use help the similarities along.

I did enjoy the ending - and the dual way it could be interpreted. ( )
  Melanti | Mar 30, 2013 |
Odd one. I liked it very much but it wasn't quite what I was expecting when I found it on-line.

Sam loses a tooth and wakes that night to find a foul-mouthed tooth fairy in his bedroom. The tooth fairy is shocked that Sam can see her (him?) and from then on seems bound to Sam, influencing his life, causing him harm but also trying to help him. One night the tooth fairy insists that Sam's friend Terry sleeps over. It's the night when Terry's father shoots the rest of his family as they sleep, before shooting himself. As Sam grows up he wishes the tooth fairy would leave him and his friends alone, but can he find a way to make her leave?

I was expecting some kind of supernatural horror book and instead I got a fairy tale about the journey from childhood to adulthood. It was still very good, just something of a surprise. I'm glad that I found it on-line, because if I had seen it in the shop I wouldn't have picked it up. The cover looks like a 'teen' book and in some places it reads like one, but I would have missed out by judging it based on that.

I enjoyed The Silent Land (not a teen book, but the only other of his books that I have read so far) and am looking forward to the release of Joyce's new book, Some Kind of Fairy Tale, which is released in June and this one has served to make me more impatient to get my hands on that one.

I gave this book: 2 1/2 stars ( )
  Jodyreadseverything | Jan 23, 2012 |
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Clive was on the far side of the green pond, torturing a king-crested newt.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312868332, Paperback)

The disquietude in Graham Joyce's coming-of-age tale is that of having too much power as a child--the kind of power that turns your slightest wishes into mayhem. This power is granted to the rather ordinary and fearful member (neither the smartest nor the strongest) of a trio of friends growing up in small-town England by his stinky and enigmatic night visitor, the Tooth Fairy. The charm of this British Fantasy Award-winning novel is in his subtle and unsentimental portrait of a supernaturally benighted childhood. As Ellen Datlow writes in Omni, "Joyce immediately hooks his readers from the very first page with a small sharp shock and holds the reader with engaging characters and an air of menace. This tooth fairy is ... mischievous and destructive, representing our own worst aspects." --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A dark novel on an English boy's relationship with a ghost. At times the ghost is protective, at times he corrupts, encouraging Sam to engage in sex, including masturbation. Eventually the ghost turns into a woman and sleeps with the boy. By the author of Requiem.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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