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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.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Tommy's Tale the most enjoyable?
My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing
What did you like best about this story?
Was its ramblings.
Have you listened to any of Alan Cumming’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No and Alan will be Cumming again very soon to my ears.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
My cheeks hurt
Any additional comments?
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful