Clive was on the far side of the green pond, torturing a king-crested newt.
–Graham Joyce - The Tooth Fairy - c.1996 - pg.9
I’ve read a few Graham Joyce books at this stage; this one by him won the British fantasy award so I was hoping for good things. It tells the story of Sam, a young boy growing up in 1960s England, who one night is visited by the tooth fairy, an entity that is not the insect sized woman with wings that you might expect. Instead he or she changes depending on circumstances. Sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes an androgynous figure, but always unsettling and unwelcome in Sam’s life.
To be honest I wasn’t really impressed by this book. I didn’t get any of the characters and I thought that parts of it were “sexed up” in order to create a shock value. It was quite a disappointment as I’ve really enjoyed some of Joyce’s other books.
It isn’t terrible, don’t get me wrong, it is for the most part well written. And some parts were particularly gripping. But overall this just didn’t work for me. A coming-of-age book that I’d give a miss.