View Full Version : Anyone read any T. Coraghessan Boyle?

07-22-2006, 01:01 AM
I've heard his name thrown about a lot, so I picked up The Road to Wellville. I'm still a little on the fence about it as I had trouble identifying with any of the characters, but I was more and more engrossed as I went. I read the first half over a few days and the second half in one evening. Definitely well written, but I think I'm going to let it sink in a bit before I read anything else by this guy. If I do decide to pick up another one, any recommendations?
For me, I think I enjoy a book less if I don't really like any of the characters, even if they are well drawn as was the case here.
He also has a tendency to throw out a lot of archaic vocabulary, but I took it to be a function of the early 20th century setting.

07-22-2006, 07:47 AM

I have read quite a bit of his work, and I think I prefer his short stories over his novels.

I just finished The Inner Circle, and was a little on the fence about it. I felt the same about the Road to Wellville, although my husband loved it.

He also liked Riven Rock, which I haven't read yet.

I enjoyed After The Plague, If The River Was Whiskey, and another collection or two of his short stories, the names of which escape me at the moment ...

I think he's a good writer, so don't give up on him just because you're not crazy about that particular book.

07-22-2006, 07:01 PM
Is the Inner circle the one about that commune that moves to Alaska? If so I didn't get that one because it had a bunch of naked people on the cover and I didn't want my son getting his hands on it, or for my wife to think I was reading some kind of porn.

07-22-2006, 11:18 PM
No, the Inner Circle is the one about Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher.

(I don't think you want your son to get his hands on that, either!)

12-15-2006, 08:44 PM
Any T.C. Boyle fans here?

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
12-15-2006, 08:53 PM
I read The Inner Circle and was very impressed. So much, I got a couple of others. Anyones you'd say are his best?

And welcome to AW!

12-15-2006, 09:59 PM
Ooh. Me!

I read Greasy Lake in college... one of the first "required reading" books I ever really loved. He's also pretty approachable... I tried to get up the nerve to interview him for Absolute Write, but wound up too starstruck. (Kinda funny... I can interview just about anyone, but my literary heroes scare me.)

12-16-2006, 01:02 AM
Drop City is my favorite so far. I've barely scratched the surface with him. It's about a hippie commune that heads north to find the ideal life in frontier Alaska. Of course, they run into various hardships. I love fish out of water stories.

T.C. Boyle Stories is a collection of something like seventy of his short stories. Not every story is great. I don't care much for his early stuff from the seventies, but most of his later stories are excellent. I admire his prose more than his story-telling though almost all of his stories have memorable characters that come to life and some of the tales are suspenseful all the way to the end.

If you ever get a chance to see it, one of his books, The Road to Wellville, was made into a movie. It's fall-on-the-floor hilarious. At least my dad and I thought so. My wife and my mother didn't like it. His humor might be a little on the masculine side.

Ms. Glatzer,

You've got to suck it up and interview him for us. He's a real talent. After reading his stuff, I wonder what I'm doing even trying to call myself a writer.

12-16-2006, 02:50 AM
I recently finished Riven Rock, and have a copy of Drop City on the shelf waiting to be read.

Riven Rock was quite good. I had a vew gripes about the plot, but the characters were well-rendered and the writing itself was fantastic.

12-17-2006, 02:14 AM
I started a thread about the book The Road to Wellville here not so long ago. Given some distance, it has stuck with me pretty well, although I found it something of an unpleasant read. Excellent characters though, well drawn and seemed very real. The only other one of his they have at my library is Drop City, and I will probably check it out next time I get down there. Didn't want my son seeing the naked people on the cover, or more accurately, I thought my wife would object.