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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A young British pansexual with a penchant for chemical and physical excess stars in award-winning actor Cumming's (Cabaret, Eyes Wide Shut) zany debut. As his 30th birthday looms, Tommy grapples with both his desire to have a child and his fear of settling down. He also embarks on numerous benders ("I have coke spilling out of my left nostril, a ten-pound note jammed up my right"), while roommates Bobby, a gay lamp-shade designer, and Sadie, a mother-figure of sorts, plus lover Charlie and Charlie's eight-year-old son, try to help Tommy grow up. Cumming infuses the narrative with obscenities, puns, pop culture references and fairy tales, the latter appearing at crucial points in the plot as thinly veiled stories about Tommy himself. Cumming also gleefully overemploys the literary gimmick: there are lists of advice on anything from drinking to depression, flashbacks, jump cuts ("we're doing one of those time-jump things," Tommy notes), subtitles, interviews and direct appeals to the reader. Though at times insightful and clever ("Charlie belonged to that lucky, lucky group of normal people who are not waiting for their lives to start," Tommy says of his lover), the book often feels as hysterical and muddled as its narrator does. While Cumming explores plenty of graphic sexual escapades, bigger matters-such as Tommy's transformation from boy to man at the book's end-are left unexamined. At the core of this book is a charming personality-intelligent, frolicking, sensitive and sexual-but only rarely does it emerge from amid the extremes of story and style.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book reminded me of Nick Hornby's About A Boy, except with more drugs, sex and rock and roll. The writing is very gimmicky and easy to read. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Wash Parry
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To celebrate the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2014 revival of Cabaret, but more importantly Alan Cumming reprising his role... Read more
Fun read. I liked that Tommy was a "real" person with real issues -- and had friends to help pull him back from the edge.Published on July 4, 2012 by Amazon Customer
I ordered my book on november 18th and didn't get it until december 18th. other than that, the book arrived in great condition!
as for the book itself, it is WONDERFUL! Read more
I was very excited about this book, as I adore Alan Cumming beyond all reason. But the book is...not so good. It's not entirely terrible, but it is very disappointing. Read morePublished on October 22, 2009 by Marie L
If your an Alan Cumming fan and like sassy, sexy wit, than you will love this book. I have bought it 3 times as gifts because everyone has to read it at some point in their life.Published on June 13, 2006 by Floater Chick
I thought this a particularly fun book to read for spare time, and also because it's by the great actor Alan Cumming.
Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Tommy. Read more
Hi. I am a great fan of Alan Cumming, so when I heard he wrote a novel, I had to read it, so I got it from the library and now I'm buying it. Read morePublished on March 1, 2005 by Lydia Walden