The Toy Collector
by James Gunn
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, James Gunn (also the protagonist's name) buys his toys at exorbitant prices, searching the familiar tacky plastic for his childhood dreams 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. At once raucous, sentimental, and hilarious, The Toy Collector is a novel about the lasting strength of childhood, the responsibilities of adulthood, and the repercussions of a generation nursed on TV shows and action figures.