Toy Fights: A Boyhood
Exquisitely sharp, deeply humane and brutally hilarious, Toy Fights is a future classic from one of the greatest writers of his generation.
This is a book about family, money and music but also about schizophrenia, hell, narcissists, debt and the working class, anger, swearing, drugs, books, football, love, origami, the peculiar insanity of Dundee, sugar, religious mania, the sexual excesses of the Scottish club band scene and, more generally, the lengths we go to not to be bored.
Don Paterson was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1963. He spent his boyhood on a council housing estate. When he wasn’t busy dreading his birthdays, dodging kids who wanted to kill him in a game of Toy Fights, working with his country-and-western singer dad, screwing up in the Boys’ Brigade, obsessing over God, origami, The Osmonds, stamps, sex or Scottish football cards, he was developing a sugar addiction, failing his exams, playing guitar, falling in love, dodging employment and descending into madness. While he didn’t manage to figure out who he was meant to be, the first twenty years of his life – before he took a chance, packed his guitar and boarded a train to London – did, for better or worse, shape who he would become.
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