Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Tooth Fairy

This is a book I remember coming out in hardback and flicking through a few times before putting it back on the shelf. There was something about it that fascinated me and yet almost as soon as I picked it up I was putting it back as if slightly repulsed. My best guess is it was because of what I'll call Gaimanitis. Something about it made me think of Neil Gaiman, and I’m very very undecided about Gaiman’s work - at the very least I lean towards thinking it might be a load of pretentious nancy wank, but then sometimes I think I quite like it.
After finally reading a different Graham Joyce book altogether (‘TWOC’, if you don’t know what that means you’re either an honest law abiding citizen, or you’ve never had your car nicked) and enjoying it, I decided I’d read ‘Tooth Fairy’. It’s supposed to be about a boy who is regularly visited by a, surprise, tooth fairy, but rather than being a lovely little pixy of this fairy is foul and sinister, well, sometimes. I say supposed to be about, because it’s really a book about growing up and Joyce wisely uses the fairy sparingly, instead treating us to the growing pains of a group of 3 boys and the various people who play a part in their lives. Joyce evokes a lovely bittersweet childhood nostalgia with ease and I wonder how much is autobiographical.
‘Tooth Fairy’ is a very easy read due to familiarity (I doubt I’m the only one who cringes with recognition at some of the boys antics) but still has nice challenging prose which only occasionally gets a bit to fancy for it’s own good. The Gaiman comparison wasn’t far off it seems, but I got a lot more out of Joyce and next time I look at one of his books I’ll know to just buy it.

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