The Toy Collector

The Toy Collector

by James Gunn


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A tragicomic novel about nostalgia, addiction, and 1970s action figures.

The Toy Collector is a wickedly funny portrait of a young man who sells stolen pharmaceuticals to finance his growing addiction to memorabilia. An orderly at a Times Square hospital, he buys his toys at exorbitant prices, searching the familiar tacky plastic in a perverse effort to avoid adulthood. As the story switches from the make-believe world he creates with his childhood friends-populated by Scrunch-Em, Grow-Em Dinosaurs and toy robots-to the grown-up pleasures of sex, drugs and alcohol, James falls in and out of love, and stumbles through New York City in search of dubious redemption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582341491
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 07/06/2001
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

James Gunn is a writer, actor, and filmmaker. He wrote the cult hit film Tromeo and Juliet, he wrote and starred in The Specials and has written the screenplays for Spy vs. Spy, and Scooby Doo for Warner Brothers Studio. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Toy Collector 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The mental hike across the mind that is Jimmy Gunn, is done like I have never seen before. Often as disturbed as Tyler Durden and some times as friendly as the narrator of Fight Club, this character doesn¿t suffer from being a skitzo. He knows all the choices he is making. Yet he often changes his mind with any contact with his drugs or mainly alcohol. Extremely witty in both adulthood and childhood, the book is hard to put down; with the ability to make you cry [as it did me] and an ease to make you laugh. Personally I enjoyed his childhood chapters more, they are the closest writings to associate with the imagination you once possessed I have ever read. By far my favorite work of late 90¿s contemporary writing, surpassing anything by Paliahniuk[¿Fight Club¿, ¿Invisible Monsters¿, ¿Survivor¿, and ¿Choke¿].
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a quick and easy read, but it was also a captivating and fun read. The book flashes between adult Jimmy/kid Jimmy, and both tales are interesting. The adult Jimmy makes ya kind of sad to see what he's doing with his life, but the kid Jimmy makes you smile with the memories that'll come back.(Remember Rom: SpaceKnight). I especially liked the bond that the four friends have and how much they care for each other. This book had a few disturbing things as well, but it just makes the story that much more hard to put down. I'll probably pick up James Gunn's next book (whatever/whenever that may be).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved The Toy Collector. It was better than Cats. It's at once affecting and funny and heartbreakingly sad. Not to mention it's got one of the best first sentences from a novel that I've read in a long, long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I raced through this novel. Couldn't put it down. I felt like one of the female characters in the book that falls in love with the sad and lonely misfit James Gunn. I couldn't get him out of my heart. Even when he is totally self-absorbed and abusive. Even when he sells drugs to finance his obsession with antique toys. Even when he begs to get the love of his life back, promises to get clean and then cheats again and again. This book is dark and hilarious. I loved the flashbacks to James' youth: The part when he is locked in a camper with the older and sexually aggressive daughter of his parents' mutual friends. The story of he and the other neighborhood kids' plan to run away and their adventures at the airport. There is lots more but I'd hate to ruin it. This was my favorite book of the year.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quirky and edgy! I loved it. If any of you have an addiction for any memorabilia (I am talking to you EBAYers), you will laugh out loud at this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago