Les Vrais Durs Ne Dansent Pas
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Les Vrais Durs Ne Dansent Pas

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,525 ratings  ·  90 reviews
A dark, brilliant novel of astonishing pitch, set in Provincetown, a "spit of shrub and dune" captured here in the rawness and melancholy of the off-season, "Tough Guys Don't Dance" is the story of Tim Madden, an unsuccessful writer addicted to bourbon, cigarettes, and blonde, careless women with money. On the twenty-fourth morning after the decampment of his wife, Patty L...more
Published 1995 by Rivages (first published 1984)
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Ben Loory
okay, at this point i just flat-out love norman mailer, but his endings are really letting me down. his voice is so wild and burning and furious, so full of madness and spiritual and intellectual yearning, but then somehow his stories always devolve into just a bunch of people sitting around and baldly explaining the story to each other in the least interesting way conceivable. he makes a big show of being an anti-rationalist, but as far as stories go, he's a total realist; all this lip service...more
Mark
I'm not quite sure what to think of this book. It doesn't seem to illustrate Mailer's mastery of language and story telling. His writing does, however, capture quite well the strange, violently surreal, half-paranoid/half-indifferent malaise of hard-core alcoholism. In fact, the whole book reminds me in many ways of a recurring dream I had during my years of dark adventures with the sauce. Also pervasive in the book is a struggle with masculinity, repressed homosexuality, and misogyny tangled up...more
Michael
In a box somewhere I still have all of my Norman Mailer books, with which I have a relationship that can only be called ambivalent. At the time, I thought he was brilliant even while finding much of his work howlingly awful. Often at the same time. (See Harlot's Ghost, a novel that oscillates wildly between great and terrible and that I remember loving beyond all reason.)

Take this novel, which is a typically overwrought take on a noirish thriller and mixes Mailer's usual obsessions (drugs, drink...more
Wally
Is this where Mailer asks the question, why do gay men congregate in cities with giant phallic monuments? I can't remember.
Scott Rhee
I'm a huge Norman Mailer fan.

(As an aside, let me just divulge something here. I have no idea, really, why I have a huge affinity for certain writers that are notoriously misogynistic in nature: Phillip Roth, John Updike, Mailer, to name a few. I don't consider myself a misogynist. I'm actually pretty pro-feminist in my views. So why I like these particular authors, who spend a good portion of their time writing about their sexual exploits and/or odes to their penis is beyond me. Except to say...more
Bill
How did I miss reading Mailer when I was younger? I still haven't read his most acclaimed books, but where were my parents? Well, I guess all the sex, pot, coke, LSD, and violence probably kept them from heralding him to me as a lad. I occasionally get the same feeling I get when reading Thompson, an enjoyable shock accompanied by envy over their prose. I find it hard to make a role model out of someone who had six wives and stabbed one of them, but hey, nobody's perfect.
Barry
First Mailer I've ever tackled. I liked it. Basically a standard murder mystery, with the twist, if it can be called that, of a main protagonist who is an alcoholic sexual sleaze-bag of at times questionable morality. Mailer's skill is evident in that he makes it possible to empathise with this character. A good read.
Ljuke
Mailer comes off like a new-age Raymond Chandler in this confusing, masculine mystery. Because he wrote it quickly to meet a publishing deadline, there is none of the self-indulgence of his other books.
Bill Chamberlain
People say this book lacks plot, and they are correct. People say the characters are unsympathetic & trashy. Also correct. Can’t help but like it, though. Mailer’s prose is engaging.
Brian Fagan
The plot and characters are ridiculous, but the writing style is great. It's fucking Mailer, man! Weed and decapitated broads!
Andrew
Tough Guys Don't Dance is set in Provincetown during the off-season, when the few natives become inverted and spend most of their time in dark bars. It begins as a pretty straightforward, albeit dark, mystery, but quickly turns surreal and nightmarish as you spend a week of hell with our victim/suspect/murderer(?), as he attempts to piece together just what happened on the night he blacked out drunk and woke up with a tattoo on his arm that reads "Laurel", vague recollections of arguing with his...more
David
Ok, yes. This book has a veneer of misogyny, but truly the real issue here is not a hatred of women but a willful misunderstanding of women. This book’s only concern is masculinity; the women here are presented only as noir femme fatales or gun molls. To take great offence at Mailer's disparaging such mythical creatures is akin to being frustrated at the mischaracterization elves or unicorns. This is the nature of the genre. What made this book worth reading (for me), was the application of Mail...more
Bookcase Jim
I'm fairly indulgent when it comes to reading and have a tough time putting a book down once I start, but given the premise of Tough Guys Don't Dance, it was a real bitch to get through. The writing was good, granted, but somehow it just didn't fit the story, it was all so stileted. The protagonist wasn't memorable, neither were any of the other characters. I finished it (don't remember how it ends), and all I remember is I was greatly disappointed. It was my one and only experience with Mailer....more
Christine
Nov 26, 2008 Christine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dan and Mike
In general, this book was like pulling teeth...from your vagina. Yup, vagina dentata, which surprisingly, did not make an appearence in Tough Guys. Still, I found the level of misogyny quite satisfactory. I think it's supposed to be satirical? And don't despair, guys, Mailer hasn't forgotten about you; he also explores machismo and homosexuality...so read it if you want to "search the recesses and buried virtues of the modern American male." And who doesn't?
Lorileinart
While not considered to be Mailer's best work, it is nevertheless my favorite. If I could offer this bit of advice: read it like you are watching a black and white film noir movie on a dark and rainy night. It's meant to be digested that way, only you won't get that until you've read it a number of times. Mailer explores marriage, homosexuality, marriage AND homosexuality, among other erotic notions, on the back roads along Cape Cod.
Susan Morris
I gave this murder mystery 4 stars because I think it was skillfully written. It's not for the sensitive though - it's loaded with mature themes, like graphic sex, brutal violence, homophobia and drugs. The author seemed to be striving to push the reader's buttons. If you are a mature adult, read it, then take a shower afterward.
Slarson6
I did not know what to expect from Norman Mailer, but now can see his skills. A bit of a twisted murder, with sex and drugs, corupt cops and even mob references. Very good, although a little dated.
Joe
a funny, bloody 80s noir with a reprint of updike's long and ridiculous description of a vagina. (which mailer and his character greatly admire.)
Heather
My first Norman Mailer experience and I will be back. A disturbing, but absorbing read about murder, drugs and everything else bad.
Cheri
It wasn't the misogyny, the machismo, or the overblown prose. There is just noir out there that is so much better and more original.
Mathew Wright
This was interesting. I think it's about smoking pot. Honestly, I'm not so sure, though.
Mr
honestly got it because it has one of the best titles ever. decent book
Matt Lundy
wonderful style, first half was more engaging than the second
Ed Mohs
characters at the there most extreme limits
fantastic one liners
Patrick
A very interesting fictional story with a great title.
Tad
As a college kid, I loved it. As an adult... less.
Valeriane
Reçu dans le cadre d'un partenariat Blog-O-Book/Robert Laffont. Merci Bob!
J'étais très emballée à l'idée de lire ce livre.
Tout d'abord, parce que j'apprécie cette collection (Pavillons poche) et surtout pour Norman Mailer. Je l'ai découvert l'année dernière avec Le chant du bourreau,-tiens où elle traîne cette chronique-une fameuse brique de plus de 1200 pages qui m'a tenu en haleine de bout en bout (livre bien pratique, ma foi, car si on s'endort au soleil, on peut s'en servir également comme...more
wally
This will be the...3rd? Mailer for me...the two others, The Executioner's Song & The Armies of the Night both excellent stories...non-fiction or new journalism. This appears to be an eye-narrator account...there's blurbs like "a convoluted mystery"...."hardboiled in tone"...."tight and suspenseful mystery novel"..."an entertainment"...

Yes.

Begins:

At dawn, if it was low tide on the flats, I would awaken to the chatter of gulls. On a bad morning, I used to feel as if I had died and the birds we...more
Mitya Lebedev
Первый роман Мейлера, с которым мне довелось столкнуться, оказался на редкость притягательным - в буквальном смысле этого слова, так как я не мог отложить книгу в сторону, пока не прикончил ее, хотя время было уже два ночи, а на работу рано, да-да.

У Мейлера очень сочный язык. Он вобрал в себя старую-добрую традицию американского повествования, протянувшуюся от Марка Твена до Стейнбека, но при этом не погнушался битничнеским наследием, легитимизировавшим вечно изменчивый язык улиц, - и в результа...more
Mark
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Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.

Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once....more
More about Norman Mailer...
The Naked and the Dead The Executioner's Song An American Dream The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History The Fight

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“Mi resi conto, allora, che l'unico vero collaudo della forza – del tono muscolare, per così dire – della sanità mentale è la capacità di sostenere l'urto di un interrogativo dietro l'altro senza che vi sia neanche l'ombra di una risposta.” 1 likes
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