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Les vrais durs ne dansent pas

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  2,190 Ratings  ·  125 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
Paperback, 471 pages
Published March 18th 2010 by Robert Laffont (first published 1984)
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Ben Loory
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
A reread of one of my favorite novels. It is sexist, homophobic and unbelievably dirty but also very entertaining and hilarious.

Think about an acclaimed writer and public intellectual taking on the crime fiction genre. Mailer had listed The Postman Always Rings Twice as one of the five best American novels of the 20th century. He had also liked The Friends of Eddie Coyle. With Tough Guys Don't Dance, Mailer bestows the genre with his grandness, his ideas, his perversions and his intellectual pol
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
Vit Babenco
Tough Guys Don't Dance is an attempt at post-noir. It is bloody. It is gory without glory. It reads like a parody. Probably it is one. Even if inadvertently…
“I could merely ponder the waves. The waves outside the lounge-room window on this chill November night had become equal in some manner to the waves in my mind. My thoughts came to a halt and I felt the disappointment of profound drunken vision. Just as you waddle up to the true relations of the cosmos, your vocabulary blurs.”
Tough guys don'
Thomas Strömquist
Dark, violent and really really good! One of my most read books (and the movie, sadly underrated, is one of my most seen as well). Read the book first! Also, I read it most in its translated to Swedish form and while there is nothing wrong with the translation, the original text really surpasses that one.
Scott Rhee
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Joseph DiFrancesco
My first dalliance with Mailer. Gritty, noir narrative carried along in the trembling hands of a classic anti-hero, this story was a little hard to follow for me. I walked away feeling all the wiser for having read the works of this dark and pugnacious writer, but being a story man, was left a little disappointed. His characters are very rich, but there are times where 98% of a given chapter was character development with the last two paragraphs being dedicated to plot advancement. As a result, ...more
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
May 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is this where Mailer asks the question, why do gay men congregate in cities with giant phallic monuments? I can't remember.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I want to fight this book so badly. Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind. Usually, Norman washes over me like warm sea water, making me smile and shake my head in wonder at how he manages to contain such an enormous ego in such a fun size body, but not this time. I liked the opening of this book too, it's a great premise - drunk down and out writer wakes up after a bender with a lot of blood in his car and a nagging suspicion that he may have murdered one or two women. After the opening cha ...more
Juan Araizaga
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
8 días y 323 páginas después.

Lo primero que tengo que decir es que es una pésima edición. Probablemente una de las peores que haya leído, le hacen falta montones de espacios para poder comprender todo; tal vez no haya sido la edición, sino la forma tan "abultada" de escribir del autor.

Esta novela intenta describir lo ajetreado de una noche de borrachera. Se tiene al escritor Tim Madden, él es azotado por el recuerdo de su mujer que lo ha dejado hace 24 días. En el día 25 el se pone una tremenda
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange book, listed as Mailer's detective fiction. It reads like a detective novel by Kafka. A self absorbed and obsessed narrator who reels through Province town Massachusetts in drunken post divorce agony hounded by paranoia, narcotics police and LSD fried n'er do wells. The narrator freely talks about his vanity and ego while common Mailer themes spin out in unlikely scenarios around him. It reads like a writer in desperate need of an editor. Was Mailer too vain to utilize an editor or heed ...more
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2011
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.
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Norman Mailer experience and I will be back. A disturbing, but absorbing read about murder, drugs and everything else bad.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.)
So, I said to a friend the other day: "Watch out, I'm reading Mailer again...that guy is funny, insightful, AND inappropriate; it's a shame he is dead." Truly, that is how I feel. I know lots of people see him as just a good old fashioned prick, but I think there is more here. His writing is pompous and homophobic and certainly ridiculously sexual; but I just don't see it is a promoting the white man as better than anyone else. Instead, it's kind of like Louis CK's joke about how he will hands d ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric Layton
Nov 05, 2014 marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, this was my first experience with Mailer. It's a shame, too. I could not finish this book. I found it to be a tad too long on vulgarity and foul language and a bit short on plot. I'm no prude. Hell, I'm a foul mouthed biker, actually. I can cuss with the best of 'em. However, a well-written and plotted story does not, in my opinion, need this excess of profanity that I found in this book. It sorta' turned me off to the story altogether.

Mailer should have taken a lesson from John D. MacDon
Bookcase Jim
Oct 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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 read it if you want to "search the recesses and buried virtues of the modern American male." And who doesn't?
Pako Barrientos
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hay cosas que no me gustaron, algunas de ellas son el tono de voz y la ira con la que el autor maneja la historia y el tono tan oscuro de los personajes.
Pero hay dos cosas que me encantaron y que hacen de esta una de las mejores novelas que he leído: la primera la historia que realmente se convierte en una línea bien lograda de misterio y terror dentro del contexto y dos el inminente camino a la locura que recorren los personajes.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Charles M.
This rather confusing book finishes very fast and surprisingly. Tim Madden wakes up from a drug/alcohol instilled stupor to find that he has a tattoo, and blood all over his car. He then unravels what really happened that "evening before"! Not one of Mailer's best, but certainly keeps your interest during last 100 pages!
Susan Morris
Apr 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange book. I can't even decide if I liked it or not. On the one hand, I couldn't put it down, on the other, I was generally confused by it. Maybe I'll have to have another go at reading it.
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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 about Norman Mailer...
“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.” 2 likes
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