Tommy is 29, lives and loves in London, and has a morbid fear of the "C" word (commitment), the "B" word (boyfriend), and the "F" word (forgetting to call his drug dealer before the weekend). But when he begins to feel the urge to become a father, and the pressure from his boyfriend to make a real commitment to their relationship, Tommy starts to wonder if his chosen lifestyle can ever make him happy.
Faced with the choice between maintaining his hedonistic, drugged-out, and admittedly fabulous existence or chucking it all in favor of a far more sensitive, fulfilling, and - let's face it - slightly more staid lifestyle, Tommy finds himself in a true quandary. Through a series of adventures and misadventures that lead him from London nightspots to New York bedrooms and back, our boy Tommy manages to answer some of life's most pressing questions - even those he never thought to ask.
©2002 Alan Cumming (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
I wanted to love this book so much more than I did. Unfortunately, there's this weird element to it that makes it really uncomfortable- Tommy, the main character, is a man on a rampage, circling an emotional breakdown while doing all the drugs and having all the sex... and that's fine. Alan Cumming plays intelligently with the idea of debauchery and condemnation, presenting a character who does salacious and irresponsible things and doesn't ask for- no, outright mocks the idea that he could gain the audience's approval.
HOWEVER, what ends up happening, is the story takes a weird turn into really glorifying his (terrible! terrible!) choices. His 'you can't judge me, the messed up ones in this society are YOU for never having LIVED' attitude becomes... I'm struggling to put my finger on this, but becomes somehow validated by the text. The ending made me super uncomfortable.
So, on the one hand, I love this, because it's a warm, funny glimpse into a subculture that doesn't get a lot of attention, but on the other I was left with a bit of a knot in my stomach and wanting to shake the protagonist for being so bloody sanctimonious about it all. I'll still count this as a great book, but my enjoyment of the story over all was diminished by the intense feeling of wanting to slap poor Tommy.
Let me state this first: if you are put off by drug use and/or sex (both hetero and homo, both intimate and anonymous), you will not like this book. I am put off by neither, and I really enjoyed it.
As the summary says, the book follows a few months in the life of a 29 year-old self-proclaimed party boy in London. There are clubs, drugs, parties, and some seriously seedy behavior in the disabled loo. You'll learn about lampshade design, hangover avoidance, the power of baths, and the emotional blackmail of a particularly precocious child.
I think Alan Cumming is the best (or certainly one of the best) book readers out there, and if you enjoy him as an actor, performer, activist, and human, you will likely enjoy this book, too. I'll admit my bias here — I adore him — and I loved Tommy's Tale.
My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing
Was its ramblings.
No and Alan will be Cumming again very soon to my ears.
My cheeks hurt
First of all thank god for the UK. I swear if we didn't have the British I think as Americans we would walk around all day with a broom sticks up are bum. I needed this book bad. I mean really bad. The wife and I were trying to find something new (I mean NEW) to listen to. We cam across Alan Cummings book. We listen to it a bit and said that's the one. I needed something that was going to throw me back into humanity and it seams a good art performance always does the trick for me. Its like listing to train wreck and I love train wrecks.This book isn't for everybody but neither is Clock Work Orange, but those you pay money to go see, "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf." will love it. Which I believe has nothing but drinking though the whole play. (Replying to comment about the over use of drugs in the book.)But this is what I love about this book. It made my cheeks hurt. Because, I know these people and places. But most of all I know that, "little boy." and he's right. If you think this book is about coming of age, drugs, sex and homosexuality. Your wrong. Those are the props on the stage. Its about a little boy name, "Tommy" he explained it in the first chapter.Alan Cumming is more than welcome to come over for dinner, but Malcolm Gladwell will need to move over a bit.
I am a big fan of Alan Cumming the author, and I loved this audiobook where he narrates his own novel.
I liked the overall story but rated it down somewhat for the all the drug use. I know that people use drugs, but at times this story felt like that was was all that was going on.
I highly enjoyed the fact that this was a story where gay characters can have a happy ending.
I was updating my stats on Goodreads and ran across this in my library. I didn't remember it. I loaded it again and shut it down at an hour and eleven minutes. I just couldn't get into it. The narration was erratic but I think it was the writing. I don't understand what people like about it but I regret it was not for me.
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