by Paul Beatty
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Tuff 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
cloggiedownunder 3 months ago
“Ms. Dunleavy had been Winston's teacher last fall when he attended the GED preparatory program at the community center. Her notions of English didn't feel right in his mouth. For Winston language was an extension of his soul. And if his speech, filled with double negatives, improper conjugations of the verb "to be", and pluralized plurals (e.g., womens), was wrong, then his thoughts were wrong. And oftentimes her corrections had the effect of reducing him to ethnic errata.” Tuff is the second novel by Man Booker Prize-winning American author, Paul Beatty. Summer in Spanish Harlem, and Winston Foshay (Tuffy to his friends) is looking for a way to survive the year. He has a wife and son to support, and has seen the inside of a prison cell more than once, so something that doesn’t involve drugs would be good. While his good friends plan something as audacious as it is foolish, Tuffy has acquired a mentor in the Big Brother program, Sheldon Throckmorton, a black rabbi who has arranged for those closest to Tuffy to help him decide his future. Suddenly, against most advice, Tuffy is running for Council in the East Harlem Eighth District of the NYC local council elections, on the promise of financial gain from a patron. Will Tuffy disappoint? Beatty gives the reader a cast of characters who all have their individual quirks and foibles. Most get at least a vignette to explain their background, if not a whole chapter. His plot takes a few surprising turns, so sumo wrestling is just one feature that is unexpected. There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, and Beatty has a talent for leading his characters into moments of insight and perceptiveness. His extensive knowledge of the era and the social class about which he writes is apparent in every paragraph, and this is a novel that would appeal especially to readers familiar with Spanish Harlem at the cusp of the twenty-first century. This one is even better than The White Boy Shuffle. Funny and clever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sister let me read this book. All I can do is praise Beatty. I always love his protagonists.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it's an absolute pleasure to see a young writer getting increasingly confident, daring, and flat-out funny with each new work--and when you're bursting out of the gate w/ as much talent as beatty has, well, damn, that's saying something --this book is an hysterical, politically-incorrect satire --beatty reminds me of early delillo 'cept funnier--give the guy his time (and support him in the meanwhile), 'cuz no doubt a masterwork is around the corner. until that time, i'm just glad he's putting his agile mind on paper --paul beatty's the real thing. enjoy
Guest More than 1 year ago
Far and away the best author of our time. Unfortunately - or fortunately - no one seems to notice. After I read the 'White Boy Shuffle' I thought the book was just going to explode. When it didn't I was secretly relieved knowing that the same people that praise the same artistic trash all the time just didn't get this. Most white people who I have lent the book to can't get past the tone and language. 'It's a little harsh' I kept hearing. Well so is a shot of tequila, but soon after you a whole other world opens up to you. Tuff is a brilliant, take no prisoners comedic tale of misfits and mayhem. Kind of like a hip-hop 'Cannery Row.' What I was most amazed with was the author's attention to detail. He is equally adept at describing a crack house as he is pointing out hockey's greatest fights. The author is obviously well read. I waited nearly three years after 'the White Boy Shuffle' for Beatty's next book, and now that I'm done that I can't wait for the next one.