Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (Will Self) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $12.00
  • Save: $1.20 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Tough, Tough Toys for Tou... has been added to your Cart
Condition: :
Comment: Book may have moderate creases and wear from reading. Item qualifies for ** FREE ** shipping and Amazon Prime programs!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (Will Self) Paperback – May 26, 2000


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.80
$1.69 $0.01

"Funny Girl" by Nick Hornby
"One of the funniest and most subtle voices in contemporary fiction."--Chicago Tribune. Check out Nick Hornby's first novel in 5 years: Funny Girl. Learn more
$10.80 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

"Man at the Helm" by Nina Stibbe
The first novel from a remarkably gifted writer with a voice all her own, "Man at the Helm" is a hilarious and occasionally heart-breaking portrait of childhood in an unconventional family. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Will Self
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; First Grove Paperback Printing edition (May 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802137024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802137029
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although the title piece in this collection of eight stories by the ever-inventive Self (Great Apes, etc.) is uncharacteristically realistic, in many others Self's signature surreality, inventive wordplay and altered states of consciousness conspire to give contemporary English satire a good Swiftian kick. Often Self's imaginative extravagances, with their obvious, satisfying hooks, serve as odd contrasts to the brash, merciless critiques of drug addiction that frame the collection. The opening story, entitled "The Rock of Crack as Big as the Ritz," introduces readers to a pair of London brothers who discover that the foundation of their house is made of crack cocaine and who embark on an infinitely profitable drug-dealing enterprise. Danny, who won't smoke the stuff, puts his addicted younger brother, Tembe, to work for him. The arrogant rise and desperate fall of each brother is fluidly documented as their story continues in "The Nonce Prize," where Danny is framed for a vicious crime of pedophilia. A gritty snapshot of the British prison system unexpectedly gives way to a twisted satire on creative writing courses and literary prizes. Other stories feature terra firma settings with winningly uncanny characters, such as an English toddler who speaks only Gessh?ft Deutsch in "A Story for Europe"; the 12-foot-tall empathic na?fs wealthy Manhattanites depend on for infantile human comfort in "Caring, Sharing"; or the human-insect housemates in "Flytopia." In the tense title story, about a psychiatrist in mid-burnout driving manically across Great Britain, Self cleverly meshes this character's misanthropic alienation with the skank of a doppelg?nger hitchhiker. But of course Self's cleverness is already familiar to his readers; this collection demonstrates that his prowess with the distinctly nonfantastic can be as gripping as his most disturbing hallucinogenic visions.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By robert konrath on July 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The story, "Flytopia" is the standout entry in this collection. It's a wonderful miniature -- proportioned exquisitely, rhetorically balanced, a near-perfect short story. And yup, Self shares talents with Nicholson Baker: they both render griping dark fantasies, have a fine sense for physical detail, and fret over style. Baker writes more mechanically precise and tighter prose. Self has a darker outlook and uses a bit heavier, richer vocabulary (in part, because he throws British slang into the mix.)
With the exception of a fatuous, painfully wiredrawn story about a German-speaking British baby ("A Story for Europe"), the tales in this anthology are very good. About half the book is taken up with a story and a novella that both concern the same two black British brothers. In these, you'll learn tons more than you need (or want) about crack smoking and British jails, but you'll love the characters and their predicaments. Self's stories and characters are not slick or especially predictable and that adds to their charm.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Birkett on May 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Will Self borrows a gimmick used by Kafka, Borges, and in one not-very-succesful story by Fitzgerald (A Diamond as Big as the Ritz) and, to some extent, used in all science fiction. An impossible or supernatural event is treated naturalistically, or accepted deadpan without comment by the characters.(Isaac Asimov Magazine stories do this well).
Another trademark, reminiscent of the dirty Scottish shock-writers, is descriptions of drug and alcohol use from the point of view of the user. He also favors effects that used to be called Grand Guignol and are now called splatterpunk.
These devices are used as the hinges of his plots and the entertainment values of his stories often depends on how compelling you find them. Apart from them he is a witty and perceptive satirist with some wonderful prose such as his description of the small Suffolk town "landlocked by the shifting dunes of social trends" where "the landlords of the three desultory pubs on the main street drew pints for themselves in the cool, brown, afternoon interiors of their establishments."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sirin on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Will Self described a book by Bret Easton Ellis (The Informers) as '(taking) us from the first to the seventh circles of hell, from Salinger to De Sade'. This collection is more character based and plot driven than his previous collections - the Quantity Theory of Insanity and Grey Area. In the final story, a prison creative writing instructor urges the inmate scribblers that stories must have 'a beginning, a middle and an end', and Self seems to have taken his own fictional character's instruction on board to reign in some of his earlier, wilder metafictional techniques. Still, he remains true to his long term fictional project: to skewer the hypocrisies, the shibboleths and the complacency of Millenial capitalism and society with powerful, disturbing imagery.

The range is impressive. Self scans the top and bottom of society - with everything in between. The collection is bookended by two drug stories: 'The rock of crack as big as the Ritz', parodying the famous Fitzgerald story, where two black Londoners find their Harlesden house is underpinned by a gigantic rock of crack which they sell to wealthy Iranian bankers, and 'The Nonce Prize'in which one of the brothers, Danny, is framed for a horrific paedophile murder and takes to creative writing amongst sex offenders in prison. These two stories cover classic Self themes: the high and low life of London society, and the desire to throw a brick through the stately Edwardian rectory window of much contemporary fiction (would Beryl Bainbridge write about a paedophile murder? I doubt it).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By george hhhh on September 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Well, this book is .... worth reading. These short stories are brilliant. Not all of them. I think it depends on ones taste about which of them are worth or not but there is at least ONE story that can make you loose your breath, or at least make you think about losing it.. The self titled story is amazingly tough sensitive and unique, no writer ever experiments with matters like these (some would say because they are trivial matters perhaps).He writes about derranged situations, but with perfect realism. He is a unique writer. He is probably one of the sharpest minds alive but still..... this book may not be good enough for you. No conservative thought is allowed in the world of Will Self and some of the readers are probably going to hate him for exposing their taboos... The manual about the VOLVO car is the best short story i have ever read. It will be cult after some decades until then only few people will have the privilege to read Will Self and enjoy.The majority will be talking about a lunatic who wanted to be writer or just a boring show off guy. We love him anyway...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (Will Self)
This item: Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys (Will Self)
Price: $12.00 $10.80
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com