In this second collection of T.C. Boyle stories--his first assortment in 1998 included pieces from his first four short-story books--the extraordinary writer brings together tales from his three most recent releases (After the Plague,
Tooth and Claw and Wild Child). You've already read those wonderful pieces, but there are
also 14 works here previously unpublished in book form.
In these stories, Boyle becomes scientist, explorer, wizard and lover. His characters are hapless, unlucky, charming and mystifying. He writes with such fluid ease that it seems impossible one man could write about so many different emotions so believably. That is his gift and that's why we read him.
A profoundly funny and moving preface from Boyle helps us understand him a little bit better.
Money or no, a writer writes. The making of art - the making of stories - is a kind of addiction, as I've pointed out in an earlier essay, 'This Monkey,
My Back.' You begin with nothing, open yourself up, sweat and worry and bleed, and finally you have something. And once you do, you want to have it all over again. And again. And again.
And yes, we want to read him again and again and again. Nobody else writes like Boyle. Thank goodness.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Steven Rosen, 2014