T. C. Boyle Stories

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"T. C. Boyle Stories" gathers together in one volume all the work from Boyle's four previous collections -- as well as seven new tales previously unpublished in book form. By turns mythic and realistic, farcical and tragic, ironic and moving, Boyle's stories map a wide geography of human emotions. There are no rules in a Boyle story, just as there is no subject too arcane or idea too bizarre to pursue to its skewed conclusion: a primate-center researcher becomes romantically involved with a suave and cultured chimp; Lassie abandons Timmy for a randy coyote; Dwight D. Eisenhower and Nina Khrushchev engage in a secret love affair that threatens the stability of the world; a death-defying stuntman rides across the country strapped to the axle of a big-rig truck. And more: a Hollywood flack does an image makeover of the Ayatollah; a couple searches for the last toads on earth (and a very special erotic charge); an entrepreneur creates a center for acquisitive disorders; an elderly woman valiantly defends her household of stray squirrels. Boyle is equally at home lampooning our most terrible fears, and examining the parameters of human love, frailty, and cultural dislocation at the tail end of a disordered century.

Viking: 1998.
ISBN: 9780670879601. 624 pp.
Hardcover. Very good.