The Terrible Twos

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Overview

The Terrible Twos is a wickedly funny, sharp-edged fictional assault on all those sulky, spoiled naysayers needing instant gratification — Americans. Ishmael Reed's sixth novel depicts a zany, bizarre, and all-too believable future where mankind's fate depends upon St. Nicholas and a Risto rasta dwarf named Black Peter, who together wreak mischievous havoc on Wall Street and in the Oval Office. This offbeat, on-target social critique makes marvelous fun of everything that is American, from commercialism to ...

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Overview

The Terrible Twos is a wickedly funny, sharp-edged fictional assault on all those sulky, spoiled naysayers needing instant gratification — Americans. Ishmael Reed's sixth novel depicts a zany, bizarre, and all-too believable future where mankind's fate depends upon St. Nicholas and a Risto rasta dwarf named Black Peter, who together wreak mischievous havoc on Wall Street and in the Oval Office. This offbeat, on-target social critique makes marvelous fun of everything that is American, from commercialism to Congress, Santa Claus to religions cults.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

John Leonard
"Reed has been revising the authorized edition of American history in all his novels, to give the ghosts a chance to talk, and in The Terrible Twos he achieves a kind of jive transcendence. . . . Reed is as close as we are likely to get to a Garcia Marquez, elaborating his own mythology even as he trashes ours. . . . The Terrible Twos tells many jokes before it kills , almost as if it had been written with barbed wire."
John Leonard, New York Times, 6/17/82
Nation
"Reed follows modern masters as diverse as James Joyce and Alain Robbe-Grillet. . . . His own penchant for satire and battle has earned him some devoted followers. . . . Reed weaves Rastafarianism and a reverse of the Todd Clifton dummy sequence from Invisible Man together with Dickens' A Christmas Carol in The Terrible Twos."
Stanley Crouch, The Nation 5/22/82
Saturday Review
"A Christmas Carol, Dr. Strangelove, The Manchurian Candidate, and Robert Coover's The Public Burning--all hover as influences over this latest production by Ishmael Reed, the novelist and poet who has been called the best black writer in America today. Reed's mastery of crosscutting techniques and his extravagant inventiveness keep the madness on the boil and help disguise this novel's essential commitment to savage social criticism. . . . In its (many) finer moments, this is matchless comic invective. Ishmael Reed is a one-of-a-kind writer."
Bruce Allen, Saturday Review, 6/82
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564782267
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1ST DALKEY
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty-five books—including Mumbo Jumbo, The Last Days of Louisiana Red, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down and Juice!. He is also a publisher, television producer, songwriter, radio and television commentator, lecturer, and has long been devoted to exploring an alternative black aesthetic: the trickster tradition, or “Neo-Hoodooism” as he calls it. Founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley for over thirty years, retiring in 2005. In 2003, he received the coveted Otto Award for political theater.

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    Posted August 16, 2009

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