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The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
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The Tooth Fairy

by Graham Joyce

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  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 19 (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 |
I found the tooth fairy to be a strange book. It's the story of a boy coming of age in a small industrial town in England. He falls in love, has his heart broken, things go wrong, he goes through all the usual teenage angst. There's also a tooth fairy.

Maybe I'm just being obtuse but I didn't understand. I know the tooth fairy, how it appeared and what it did, was a symbol of childhood and how childhood and adulthood mixed...kind of. Somtimes it was that and sometiems it was something else. It felt oddly tacked on and almost incoherent. I can't help but wonder if she was actually useful or needed for the plot. Very od. But the characters were great and the story without that was good. ( )
  TPauSilver | Mar 26, 2011 |
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To Christopher Fowler
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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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