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.
My favorites in this collection: The Miracle at Ballinspittle, Sorry Fugu, Peace of Mind, Sinking House, The Hat, The Ape Lady in Retirement
But these are tough to leave out too: The Human Fly, The Little Chill, The Devil & Irv Cherniske
Usually the only problem I have with the other stories is that they aren't long enough, but there are great details in each story to love & savor anyway.
Stars for 'If the River Was Whiskey': still five, though this collection isn't as good as the last two. Still some of the finest writing in existence.