Bad Haircut

Stories from the Seventies

Tom Perrotta

St. Martin's Griffin

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New York Times bestselling author Tom Perrotta’s first book is "more powerful than any coming-of-age novel" —The Washington Post

 

Bad Haircut explores the themes that have fascinated Perrotta throughout his career: suburban rituals and mores; sports and religion; the cheerful cheesiness of American consumer life; public tests of manliness; and the moral dilemmas faced by ordinary people, parents, and teenagers alike.  Perrotta has continued to explore these subjects in novels from Election to The Abstinence Teacher.   

The ten rich stories here are linked by a single protagonist: Buddy, an adolescent suburban New Jersey boy who is truly seeing his world for the first time and already finding it both mysterious and lacking.  Whether he’s out on a Boy Scout trip with his mother and discovering that his mother actually knows—and has a history with—the man inside the battered foam hot dog costume in "The Weiner Man", feeling the first glimmer that sex might actually be possible for him in "Thirteen", or finding himself swept along on a prank gone very wrong in "Snowman," Buddy is both a recognizable American boy and a trademark Perrotta hero.  Bad Haircut is a moving, spare book from a writer who, even this early in his career, had an assured sense of the complexity of his characters’ emotional landscapes.

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Book Excerpts

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The Wiener Man
 
 
My mother was a den mother, but she wasn’t fanatical about it. Unlike Mrs. Kerner—the scoutmaster’s wife and leader of our rival den—she didn’t own an official uniform, nor did she attempt to educate us in the finer points of scouting, stuff like knot-tying, fire-building, and secret handshakes. She considered herself a glorified babysitter and pretty much let us do as we pleased at our meetings, just as long as we amused ourselves and kept out of her hair.
We had a den meeting the day the Wonderful Wiener Man came to town in

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Reviews

Praise for Bad Haircut

“More powerful than any coming-of-age novel I’ve read recently…These stories of the ‘70s deserve to be read by everyone who grew up in that blighted decade.—The Washington Post

“Somewhere between Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’ and Princeton’s tennis courts lies the New Jersey of these darkly tender, simply written tales about growing up in the Garden State in the 1970s.”—The New York Times Book Review

“His stories remind me…in their wit and humanity and cumulative impact, of Philip Roth’s Goodbye  Columbus. Like that book, Perrotta’s funny and deeply touching collection marks the arrival of a writer who’s here for the long haul.”—Tobias Wolff

“So sharp and sure in its description of growing up…Because this set of stories, like those of J.D. Salinger, are so based in the kind of truth that spans generations, no reference to a particular decade is needed.”—Hartford Courant

“First-rate fiction…In its modesty it sheds a soft light on that state of eternal dread that is adolescence.  Best of all, it is that rarest product of the ‘70s: It doesn’t leave us feeling cheated.”—San Francisco Examiner 


In the Press

Fiction Review: Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta, Author Bridge Works Publishing Company $18.95 (197p) ISBN 978-1-882593-05-7
Amid the current glut of '70s nostalgia, Perrotta has fashioned a moving cycle of stories that looks past the era's celebrated kitsch to still relevant social and cultural issues and the timeless myst
- Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Tom Perrotta

TOM PERROTTA is the author of seven books, most recently The Leftovers.  Two of his novels—Election and Little Children—have been made into acclaimed and award-winning movies.  Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and now lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

Tom Perrotta

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Available Formats and Book Details

Bad Haircut
Stories from the Seventies
Tom Perrotta

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
December 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250017420
ISBN10: 1250017424
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
December 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250010032
ISBN10: 1250010039
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$14.99
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