Friday, November 29, 2013

Discovering T.C. Boyle

The second-to-last book I read was When The Killing's Done [2011] by T.C. Boyle. I have to say a few things about it because I thought it was a real gem.
First of all -- I had no idea what to expect. Bought it at a whim. And I was pleasantly surprised.
I love "realism" fiction. I have to be honest -- I just tend to prefer straightforward storytelling -- I don't do too well with stream-of-consciousness stuff, and books where I have to worry too much about what is happening, and what is not really happening

Think about it. My favourite author is still Tolstoy!
Boyle is a "realist" writer, he even describes himself in that way on his own website.  The way I interpret that term is WYSIWYG. "What you see is what you get." What you hear is what was heard, etc.
The word "Killing" in the title of this book does not refer to human murder or anything like that. 

Rather, it involves… animals.
The protagonist is a female National Park Service biologist whose job it is to rid an island off the coast of California of its presence of feral pigs and rats. Introduced by man, these invasive species are threatening the other indigenous wildlife. But animal rights activists do not share her views on the subject. One of them, this extremely obnoxious guy named Dave [with a name like that, you know he's got be a major * * * hole, am I right?]… makes her life a living hell -- constantly boating out to the off-limits island and trying to thwart the efforts of her federally sanctioned actions.
I know -- sounds boring as watching paint dry, right?
Yeah -- maybe because you have not yet read this book!
Trust me, this is a terrific, exciting, and deadly realistic novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it has made me want to read more of T.C. Boyle's stuff!


1 comment:

Stefanie said...

This sounds pretty good. I read Boyle once a long time ago, his book The Road to Wellville was a hoot.