Yet another book from my find of the year, author Graham Joyce. Can I say it falls way outside my usual books of choice but his writing is such a delight that I am drawn to his work and will return again soon.
There is a mystery in this account of growing up in a rural village in the West Midlands. It is a coming of age story about Sam and his closest friends and family. Joyce isn't content to let the story unfold as he introduces the wider scope by speculating that the Tooth Fairy is alive in our world as seen through a young boys eyes.
There is drama, sex, violence, acne, drugs, the usual stuff of growing up and the influence of the Tooth Fairy seems to bring more insight into this process often at some cost. The sprite's true nature is hard to gauge. Perhaps a guide into adulthood, a malevolent creature out to create havoc, a jealous lover/friend or an evil presence whispering into people's ear to bring death and ill fortune. Sam worries when the Tooth Fairy seems to bleed out into all his relationships and influence others. The skill is you never know if the creature is real or just in Sam's troubled imagination even when as in a later book, Joyce plays with the Psychiatrist's own sense of reality.
Rich in humour but with a dark and sinister edge this is a beautifully crafted novel bursting with excellent prose and creative language.