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Strange Toys

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award, Strange Toys is a stunningly original and penetrating novel blending the real and unreal, the fantastic and the mundane, in a story of love, power, and the occult that carries one young woman on a difficult and dangerous journey.
Pet is her name. At nine, she is struggling to protect her family from the horrors predicted in her strange o
Mass Market Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 1st 1987 by Spectra
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  169 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jack Tripper
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, weird, horror

(1987 Bantam Spectra mass-market with Leo and Diane Dillon art, 248 pages. Cover shown up top for this edition is actually the 1989 reprint).

Strange Toys, Patricia Geary's brilliant but slightly flawed sophomore novel, follows narrator Pet through three critical times in her life, times when inexplicable supernatural events encroach into her reality. The first section, and by far the most captivating for me, details a cross-country road trip with her proto-hippie parents and her bossy, slightly
Maya Panika
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This started brilliantly. I was instantly swept into Pet’s world, her grotesquely vile older sisters, the oddness of the sudden flight from the family home and subsequent strange, fated journey, but what on earth happened in the third part of the book? I’ve read it twice now and I still don’t know.

There’s rather a lot I didn’t really get and I’m left wondering if it was just me, am I a bit thick, missing Big Flashing Pointy-Hands of metaphor and reference. Was there a point to the dead kitten,
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Got this at the library for two bits. Looks to be a bit Bone Clocksy.


So amazing. So amazing.


An invigorating story about a woman's growth from tragical but magical childhood to independent and strong adulthood - this book is, sadly, hard to find (I found mine in a bargain bin at the library).

The novel has a bad-ass backstory, too:

Patricia Geary never meant to be a science fiction writer. But when her editor at Bantam Books got into a personal dispute with the head of the department, she
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Strange Toys is an odd, creepy novel. It won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1987, though apparently Patricia Geary hadn’t actually intended it as science fiction at all. I found it while exploring the labyrinthine basement of a local used bookstore, but it was reprinted in electronic form in 2018.

See more at Fantasy Literature.
William Thomas
If it had not been for the superb narrative, it would have received 2 stars. I cannot fathom how this won the Philip K Dick award. It shows no signs of Dick's morality or even his creativity. This book feels incomplete- as I the editor threw out 200 pages wherever they wished. Part 1 is overly long and the other 2 parts are not complete in any sense. It fails to explain itself on many levels. Severely disppointing because the writing was phenomenal. ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book was well written and had excellent sensory details and realistic just didn't really have a satisfactory conclusion or much of a conclusion at all.... ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very odd, voodoo magic and bad family dynamics. Odd characters that appear and disappear, time jumps. This won a Phillip K. Dick award but don't read it unless you are prepared for a weird ride. Not worth the time, IMHO. ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was hard to read at times, but I had to keep going to see what would happen next. Following Pet was very interesting yet hard to do. She seems an easy person to follow and see how her life continues.
Aviar Savijon
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange Toys

This is one unique adventure of terror and horror masterfully written by a extremely talented author Patricia Geary. I Loved It!
Kim Zinkowski
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
P K Dick winner. B.
Annie Altomare
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange toys

I would love to read a sequel to this! This story had me captivated from beginning until the end. Very different.
Linda B.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Strange toys, indeed! I had a struggle getting into the story, but once into it it began to make sense. I would recommend it anyway.
cheryl byrd
Was hard

Was hard to understand at first, but really enjoyed this book. Not sure if it's for everyone , but guess I'm weird lol
Nayad Monroe
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Like many other reviewers here, I enjoyed the first and second sections of this book, and then was grievously disappointed by the final section and especially the ending, which I did not understand at all. I appreciated the first part enough to give the whole thing a 3-star rating, but I can't recommend it. ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read this when it came out, back in the late 80s, and remember LOVING it. Reading it again, and it's as good as I remember :). ...more
Arlene Allen
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Definitely one of the oddest books I've ever read...but I loved the road trip and her little collection - she reminded me of me... ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural
I want to love her books. And I just don’t. There’s fantastic creativity and character introspection at play, but it just doesn’t come together for me.
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