Ben Loory's Reviews > Tough Guys Don't Dance

Tough Guys Don't Dance by Norman Mailer
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

really liked it

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 to ghosts and god and the beyond goes out the window in favor of neatly tying things up like a b-grade detective story circa 1952. HERE'S HOW I KILLED THESE PEOPLE AND WHY; NOW WASN'T THAT ALL INCREDIBLY BORING? at this point i'm really starting to suspect that Ancient Evenings has gotta be the one! or maybe The Gospel According to the Son-- somewhere he's gotta be able to break through "reality" enough to allow the storyworld to form according to his actual beliefs... reading these books is like watching someone with wings NOT JUMP OFF A CLIFF over and over and over again... JUST JUMP OFF THE GODDAMN CLIFF, NORMAN MAILER!!! I WANNA SEE YOU FLY!!!!!

either that, or i should just stick to his journalism... i love when he rants about plastic...
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Swann You ought to try Harlot's Ghost--same kind of thing, but with a twist.

message 2: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Loory i put it on the list! long list!!!

message 3: by Neil (new)

Neil McCrea I'm not sure if Mailer ever actually flies, but watching him almost fly is usually good enough for me. I'd be interested in finding out what you think of The Castle in the Forest, I seem to be the only person on earth who likes that one. . . . and like is a strange thing to say, as that novel did bad things to my head.

message 4: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Loory Yes, I liked Executioner's Song, but it's been so long since I read it... I mostly only remember the first half, the "love story" part; the second half, about the lawyers and the trial, has sort of faded from memory.

And Neil, I've actually heard good things about The Castle in the Forest! So you're not alone. (Or not completely, anyway!)

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