The Terrible Twos

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1982 - Fiction - 178 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

I
3
II
8
III
17
IV
22
V
29
VI
35
VII
37
VIII
39
XXIV
105
XXV
108
XXVI
114
XXVII
116
XXVIII
119
XXIX
122
XXX
123
XXXI
125

IX
41
X
43
XI
47
XII
51
XIII
59
XIV
63
XV
69
XVI
72
XVII
76
XVIII
77
XIX
85
XX
88
XXI
92
XXII
98
XXIII
99
XXXII
126
XXXIII
130
XXXIV
132
XXXV
136
XXXVI
139
XXXVII
144
XXXVIII
147
XXXIX
149
XL
159
XLI
166
XLII
170
XLIII
173
XLIV
177
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Page 5 - Twos' first chapter thus contrasts the wealthy who "will have any kind of Christmas they desire," with "gifts rang[ing] from $100 gold toothpicks to $30,000 Rolls Royces" to the seven point eight million people [who] will be unemployed and will do without poinsettias tied with 1940 pink lace or chestnut soup. They will be unable to attend the ski lessons this year, but they will be fighting the snow, nevertheless. On Thanksgiving Day, five thousand people line up for turkey and blackeye peas in San...
Page 4 - Ebenezer Scrooge towers above the Washington skyline, rubbing his hands and greedily peering over his spectacles.
Page 4 - Wear Daily. How did the Buffalo Evening News put it? "The Wild West is Back in the Saddle Again." In the west, he campaigned as a cowboy; in the south, the crowd wept and rebel-yelled at the sight of First Actor in a Confederate uniform. Miss Nancy's beautiful white people, in the Red Room, darkies in tails passing out sour mash left and right. Thank you, Miss Nancy, said Charlie Pride.
Page 5 - Santa Claus is ubiquitous this year. Dolly Parton appears on the cover of Rolling Stone in a Santa Claus outfit; a little doll Santa Claus peeks from between her bosom lines. On the cover of Fantasy magazine, Santa Claus appears as a robot. United Press International reports on December 23, 1980, that the Sussex County Superior Court judge gave Leroy Scholtz permission to change his name to Santa C. Claus. "About fifty children and several adults, who had crammed the courtroom to lend support to...

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About the author (1982)

Poet and novelist Ismael Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 22, 1938 and grew up in Buffalo, New York. After attending the State University of New York at Buffalo, he moved to New York City, where he became a co-founder of the East Village Other, a journal of experimental writing. From New York, he moved to Berkeley, California, and started the Yardbird Publishing Company. Reed's fiction draws upon myth, magic, and ritual to produce a literature that attempts to be larger than life. He has been called an ironist, whose explorations of United States history in general and African American history in particular reveal deep scars in the culture that no amount of technology can heal. Reed tries to incorporate multimedia and nonlinear techniques into his writing style. He has defended his eclectic techniques with spirit, however: "Many people call my fiction muddled, crazy, incoherent because I've attempted in fiction the techniques and forms painters, dancers, film makers, musicians in the West have taken for granted for at least 50 years, and the artists of many other cultures, for thousands of years." His other published books include: six collections of poetry, including: New and Collected Poems, 1964-2007; eight collections of essays, most recently Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: The Return of the Nigger Breakers (2010); Gethsemane Park; The Reed Reader (2000); Blues City: A Walk in Oakland (2003); and six plays, collected by Dalkey Archive Press as Ishmael Reed, The Plays (2009).

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