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Few authors in America write with such sheer love of story, language, and imagination as T.C. Boyle, and nowhere is that more evident than in his inventive, wickedly funny, and widely praised short stories. In After the Plague, his sixth collection, Boyle exhibits his maturing themes, speaking to contemporary social issues in a range of emotional keys. The sixteen stories gathered here, nine of which appeared in the New Yorker, display Boyle's astonishing range, as he rings his changes on everything from air rage ("Friendly Skies") to abortion doctors ("Killing Babies"). There are also naturalistic stories of quiet power and passion, including "The Love of My Life," which deals with first love and its consequences, "Rust," about an older couple coming to grips with the end of their lives, and "My Widow," a touching portrait of the author's own possible future. The collection ends with the brilliant title story, a whimsical and imaginative vision of disease-ravaged earth and the few inheritors of a new Eden. After the Plague marks a storyteller at the very top of his form; there is plenty of joy and humor in this collection as well as the dark, intense scenarios that Boyle's audience has come to love.
All Felix Nasmyth and friends have to do is harvest a crop of Cannabis Sativa... ...and half a million tax-free dollars will be theirs. But they haven't reckoned on nosy Northern California-style neighbors, torrential rain, demands of the flesh, and Felix's improbable new love, a wayward sculptress on whose behalf he undertakes a one-man vendetta against a drug-busting state trooper named Jerpbak. As their deal escalates through crises into nightmare, their dreams of easy money get nipped in the bud.
A mad, hilarious collection of 17 short stories, where in Boyle offers his unique view of dictators, animals, scientists, explorers, collectors, teetotalers, and others. Boyle was the recipient of the 1999 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.
It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune devoted to peace, free love, and the simple life has decided to relocate to the last frontier--the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska--in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. Armed with the spirit of adventure and naïve optimism, the inhabitants of "Drop City" arrive in the wilderness of Alaska only to find their utopia already populated by other young homesteaders. When the two communities collide, unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. Rich, allusive, and unsentimental, T.C. Boyle's ninth novel is a tour de force infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which he is justly famous.
Young Japanese seaman Hiro Tanaka, inspired by dreams of the City of Brotherly Love and trained in the ways of the samurai, jumps ship off the coast of Georgia and swims into a net of rabid rednecks, genteel ladies, descendants of slaves, and the denizens of an artists' colony. In the hands of T. Coraghessan Boyle, praised by Digby Diehl in Playboy as "one of the most exciting young fiction writers in America," the result is a sexy, hilarious tragicomedy of thwarted expectations and mistaken identity, love, jealousy, and betrayal.
It's 2025. Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tierwater is eking out a bleak living in southern California, managing a pop-star's private menagerie, holding some of the last surviving animals in the world. Global warming is a reality. In his youth, Ty had been so serious about environmental issues that as an ecoterrorist committed to Earth Forever! he had endangered the lives of both his daughter, Sierra, and his wife, Andrea. Now, when the past seems far behind him and he is just trying to survive in a world cursed by storm and drought, Andrea returns to his life . . . Frightening, funny, surreal and gripping, in A FRIEND OF THE EARTH T. C. Boyle gives us a story that is both a modern morality tale, and a provocative vision of the future.
Mythic and realistic, farcical and tragic, The Washington Post Book World says these masterful stories mark T. Coraghessan Boyle's development from "a prodigy's audacity to something that packs even more of a wallop: mature artistry. " They cover everything, from a terrifying encounter between a bunch of suburban adolescents and a murderous, drug-dealing biker, to a touching though doomed love affair between Eisenhower and Nina Khruschev. .
In sixteen stories, T.C. Boyle tears through the walls of contemporary society to reveal a world at once comic and tragic, droll and horrific. Boyle introduces us to a death-defying stuntman who rides across the country strapped to the axle of a Peterbilt, and to a retired primatologist who can't adjust to the "civilized" world. He chronicles the state of romance that requires full-body protection in a disease-conscious age and depicts with aching tenderness the relationship between a young boy and his alcoholic father. These magical and provocative stories mark yet another virtuoso performance from one of America's most supple and electric literary inventors.
Fresh on the heels of his New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-nominated novel, Drop City, T.C. Boyle has spun an even more dazzling tale that will delight both his longtime devotees and a legion of new fans. Boyle's tenth novel, The Inner Circle has it all: fabulous characters, a rollicking plot, and more sex than pioneering researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey ever dreamed of documenting . . . well, almost. A love story, The Inner Circle is narrated by John Milk, a virginal young man who in 1940 accepts a job as an assistant to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, an extraordinarily charming professor of zoology at Indiana University who has just discovered hislife's true calling: sex. As a member of Kinsey's "inner circle" of researchers, Milk (and his beautiful new wife) is called on to participate in sexual experiments that become increasingly uninhibited--and problematic for his marriage. For in his later years Kinsey (who behind closed doors is a sexual enthusiast of the first order) ever more recklessly pushed the boundaries both personally and professionally. While Boyle doesn't resist making the most of this delicious material, The Inner Circle is at heart a very moving and very loving look at sex, marriage, and jealousy that will have readers everywhere reassessing their own relationships--because, in the end, "love is all there is."
T. C. Boyle's seventh novel transforms two characters straight out of history into rich mythic figures whose tortured love story is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. It is the dawn of the twentieth century when the beautiful, budding feminist Katherine Dexter falls in love with Stanley McCormick, son of a millionaire inventor. The two wed, but before the marriage is consummated, Stanley experiences a nervous breakdown and is diagnosed as a schizophrenic sex maniac. Locked up for the rest of his life at Riven Rock, the family's California mansion, Stanley is treated by a series of confident doctors determined to cure him. But his true salvation lies with Katherine who, throughout her career as a scientist and suffragette, continues a patient vigil from beyond the walls of Riven Rock, never losing hope that one day Stanley will be healed. Blending social history with some of the most deliciously dark humor ever written, Boyle employs his hallmark virtuoso prose to tell the story of America's age of innocence -- and of a love affair that is as extraordinary as it is unforgettable.
Will Lightbody is a man with a stomach ailment whose only sin is loving his wife, Eleanor, too much. Eleanor is a health nut of the first stripe, and when in 1907 she journeys to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's infamous Battle Creek Spa to live out the vegetarian ethos, poor Will goes too. So begins T. Coraghessan Boyle's wickedly comic look at turn-of-the-century fanatics in search of the magic pill to prolong their lives--or the profit to be had from manufacturing it. Brimming with a Dickensian cast of characters and laced with wildly wonderful plot twists, Jane Smiley in the New York Times Book Review called The Road to Wellville "A marvel, enjoyable from beginning to end."
The schooner from Santa Barbara arrives at the tiny, desolate island on New Year's Day, 1888. As the trunks are unloaded onto the wet sand, thirty-eight-year-old Marantha Waters looks at the cliffs falling away into the churning sea. This is the first day of her new life on San Miguel. Joined by her husband, a fiercely possessive Civil War veteran who will take over the operation of the sheep ranch on the island, Marantha strives to persevere in the face of brutal isolation. But the constant wind and sheep-ravaged wasteland shatter her illusions; her husband promised paradise. As he obsessively resolves to stay - and becomes increasingly distant from her and their adopted daughter Edith - Marantha's blighted lungs grow weaker in the dampness. Two years later, Edith, now a spirited teenager and an aspiring actress, will exploit every opportunity to escape the captivity her father has imposed on her. March, 1930. Another family - and another bride - arrives on San Miguel. Elise Lester, a librarian from New York City, and her husband Herbie, a World War I veteran full of manic energy, achieve a celebrity of sorts as the news cameras take an interest in these wayward people living in the wild. But the unyielding island is haunted by its history. Will the family be able to cling together as the war threatens to pull everything apart?San Miguel is a vivid and gripping story of hard lives pitched against the elements, the desires of stubborn men and the unbearable burden of love, from master American storyteller T. C. Boyle.
A man falls from a roof whilst spying on his beautiful widowed neighbour. A newly married couple seeking enlightenment take a three year vow of silence and move to a yurt in the Arizona desert. A handsome young man works in real-estate by day, but has a far more sinister profession by night. An elderly woman is determined to return to her home in the countryside, despite the knowledge that in doing so she may be signing her own death warrant. Giant men are kept in cages to ensure their nightly service to their country. A man develops an unhealthy interest in his recently deceased reclusive rock-star neighbour. And on Christmas day at the San Francisco Zoo a terrible and tragic event occurs. . . T. C. Boyle Stories II comprises three later volumes of short fiction - After the Plague, Tooth and Claw and Wild Child - along with a new collection, A Death in Kitchawank. These fifty-eight stories explore the mundane, the devastating, the figurative and the implausible in a masterful and enthralling collection. T. C. Boyle is a writer at the height of his craft.
T. C. Boyle is one of the most inventive and wickedly funny short story writers at work today. Over the course of twenty-five years, Boyle has built up a body of short fiction that is remarkable in its range, richness, and exuberance. His stories have won accolades for their irony and black humor, for their verbal pyrotechnics, for their fascination with everything bizarre and queasy, and for the razor-sharp way in which they dissect America's obsession with image and materialism. Gathered together here are all of the stories that have appeared in his four previous collections, as well as seven that have never before appeared in book form. Together they comprise a book of small treasures, a definitive gift for Boyle fans and for every reader ready to discover the "ferocious, delicious imagination" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) of a "vibrant sensibility fully engaged with American society" (The New York Times). .
Over the past twenty-five years, T.C. Boyle has earned wide acclaim and an enthusiastic following with such adventurous, inimitable novels as The Tortilla Curtain, Drop City, and The Road to Wellville. For his riveting eleventh novel, Boyle offers readers the closest thing to a thriller he has ever written, a tightly scripted page turner about the trials of Dana Halter, a thirty-three-year-old deaf woman whose identity has been stolen. Featuring a woman in the lead role (a Boyle first), Talk Talk is both a suspenseful chase across America and a moving story about language, love, and identity from one of America?s most versatile and entertaining novelists.
This new collection of short stories from T. C. Boyle finds him at his mercurial best. Inventive, wickedly funny, sometimes disturbing, these are stories about drop-outs, deadbeats and kooks. Take the man who shares his apartment with a wildcat won in a drunken bet; the drive-time shock jock hallucinating from sleep deprivation for a publicity stunt; the suburban woman who joins a pack of dogs, eating rabbits and baying at the moon. With a unique deftness of touch and a keen eye for the telling detail, Boyle has mapped the strange underworld of America.
Winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding. .
'How can you talk about being civil when innocent animals are being tortured to death? Civil? I'll be civil when the killing's done. ' The island of Anacapa, off the coast of California, is overrun with black rats which are threatening the ancient population of ground-nesting birds. Alma Boyd Takesue of the National Park Service is the spokesperson for a campaign to exterminate these man-introduced rodents once and for all. Alma, highly self-disciplined with a stubborn streak, speaks as a conservationist, though the fact that her grandmother was once stranded on Anacapa for three weeks with nothing but thousands of crawling rats for company might explain some of her zeal. With days to go before the aerial rat-poisoning, Alma's plan is in danger of sabotage. Dave LaJoy and Anise Reed, a pair of notorious environmental activists, are recognisable from a distance by his knotted dreadlocks and her flame-red cyclone of hair. Dave is an electronics salesman with barely-controlled rages, for whom the plight of the rats is yet another of life's many injustices, along with lazy tramps and second-rate wine. Anise is a struggling folk singer with her own, terrible reasons for getting involved in 'the cause'. From the outset, Alma, Dave and Anise are at ideological loggerheads. But when Alma's sights turn to the infestation of non-native pigs on Santa Cruz - where Anise was brought up by her single mother and a clan of ranchers - the stakes are raised, and the debate threatens to boil over into something much more real. . . When the Killing's Done is T. C. Boyle's blistering new novel, a sweeping epic of family, ecology and the right to life - no matter what the fallout.
A feral boy is captured and 'civilised' in the Languedoc region. A young woman is hired to look after a cloned dog that cost its owners $250,000. A widower in a self-satisfied suburb engulfs his loneliness in a sea of rats. A weary city GP is baffled by a Mexican boy, the son of a taco-seller, who can feel no pain. A junior film editor invents the death of his own daughter because he can't face going in to work. A vindictive teenager with a gasoline fixation runs into trouble with his Japanese neighbour. Two washed-up crooners in 1950s New York get creative while recording a schmaltzy Christmas special. In this beguiling new collection of stories, T. C. Boyle, one of the world's greatest storytellers, explores the improbable, the tragic, the allegorical and the altogether ordinary.
T.C. Boyle was first feted as a master of the short story for his critically acclaimed Greasy Lake. With these stories applauded by People magazine as "wickedly comical," he displays once again a virtuosity and versatility rare in literary America today. Without a Hero zooms in on American phenomena such as a center for the treatment of acquisitive disorders; a couple in search of the last toads on earth; and a real estate wonder boy on a dude safari near convenient Bakerfield, California. Sharp, guileful, and malevolently funny, Boyle's stories are "more than funny, better than wicked," says The Philadelphia Inquirer. "They make you cringe with their clarity."
From "America's most imaginative contemporary novelist" (Newsweek), a novel of Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life. Having brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in The Road to Wellville and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle, T. C. Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful and outlandish character: Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle's incomparable account of Wright's life is told through the experiences of the four women who loved him. There's the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff, the passionate Southern belle Maude Miriam Noel, the tragic Mamah Cheney, and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. Blazing with his trademark wit and inventiveness, Boyle deftly captures these very different women and the creative life in all its complexity. .
Haunted by the burden of his family's traitorous past, woozy with pot, cheap wine and sex, and disturbed by a frighteningly real encounter with some family ghosts, Walter van Brunt is about to have a collision with history. It will lead Walter to search for his lost father. And it will send the story into the past of the Hudson River Valley, from the late 1960's back to the anticommunist riots of the 1940's to the late seventeenth century, where the long-hidden secrets of three families--the aristocratic van Warts, the Native-American Mohonks, and Walter's own ancestors, the van Brunts--will be revealed.