Tough Tough Toys For Tough Tough Boys – Washington Post

Liesl Schillinger, May 1999

“There are two kinds of writer: the kind that would relish the chance to riff on gristle – updating Proust’s “madeleine” moment by calling up as many vile impressions of humanity as possible – and the kind that would not. In his coldly accomplished new book of stories, “Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys,” British writer Will Self once again flaunts his membership in the first group. In the title story, the book’s centerpiece, a misogynistic, substance-abusing misanthrope named Bill tools toward Glasgow in his turbo-charged car, slugging back whiskey and letting acid-washed memories of failed relationships slosh through his brain. He picks up a hitchhiker on the way, mostly, it seems, so that there will be someone in the car besides himself to hate.”

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