I love, love, love TC Boyle. I find his books captivating and his sense of sly humor brilliant! But this narrator was just awful. I'm sorry, but this guy was baaaaad. His delivery is monotonous and flat, indicating none of the wit and insight that Boyle's book offers....God, I couldn't stand it anymore! I had to stop listening because this guy's voice made me want to scream. I will probably just buy the book and read it. It might be that Boyle is just one of those author's whose books just don't translate well as an audiobook. Whatever. I hope they keep trying to find a narrator to suit this author, though, because Richard Poe is NOT the right guy for the job. This was a waste of money, I'm afraid.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
TC Boyle has long been the American master of the short story. His novels, however, are oddly long, windy, wordy and boring...except Drop City. The book is thrilling, the narrator a perfect match. The characters are true, the plot a deeply felt adventure among man, woman and the earth. The beginning is a story of the '70's, set near Guerneville, California. A bunch of dropouts land there, living off the "fat of the land," i.e. the money that one of them has inherited from his uncle. They posture, get stoned and stay that way, make lame fun of the society that has produced them, eat organic everything and remain smugly absorbed in their world view, until Sonoma County discovers the filth they live in. When the bulldozers arrive, they repair to Alaska, naively led by Norm, the guy with the bread. The book grows in scope and ambition as they arrive, so ill-equipped to survive yet so proud of themselves that they fairly burst. Richard Poe tells the story with passion and empathy for these lost children, who could simply be "figures of fun," an expression Boyle has used about other characters in his work. In Alaska they find their fate, which in many instances is not pretty. They also find a couple, Sess and Pamela, who are living out the dream with bravery, courage, smarts and determination to spare. There are true villains and several true heroes. At the end, which you sincerely never want to come, you are so deeply moved by the talent of both Boyle and Poe that you immediately return to Audible looking for a sequel, something that Boyle has never done in his entire career, to my knowledge. Tortilla Curtain is his only other successful novel, I feel, and I hope Audible can get these two guys together again for that. For now, I am reverberating with the book's end, thinking about what will happen to Sess, Pamela, Marco and "Star." This work is up there among my four or five favorite audiobooks, and I will come back to it again and again. It gives me hope for the human condition.
I expected a great book on a turning point in history from this author, who was also an excellent NY Times reporter. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The book is overwritten - there is entirely too much description, trite and overwrought metaphors, particularly in cases where what he is describing isn't interesting enough to warrant more detail. And technically, the chapters were out of sequence: the narrator might say, "Chapter 10," when what shows on the iTunes display is "Chapter 4." Very confusing and exhausting to listen to.
An interesting story that did a good job with portraying the spirit of the time while developing the characters. Great narration.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
I really enjoyed the narator, and the story. I liked the characters and was quickly drawn intot he story. I have always thought that if I had ben born in the 60's I might have been living on a hippy commune like Drop City, though I'm not so sure about roughing it in the Alaskan wilderness. I was a little disappointed in how it ended. It was such an engaging story until the end and then just ended at an awkward point I thought. Other than that I really liked the story and cared about the characters.
This is the best T.C. Boyle on Audible. How can you beat a story about a 1970s commune and some trappers in Alaska?
For the listener who likes realistic fiction, I strongly recommend it.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
I'm old enough to recall the 70s, and apparently Boyle is old enough to recall all of its clichés. Not only did few of the 'alternative people' talk like this, most were too narcotically numbed to think like this. Few spoke in song lyrics or slick-magazine-babble phrases. If you're you're born after 1980 and after a trip to the time, hunt elsewhere. If you want Lord of the Flies in Drop-Out drag… well, this ain't it kid. Better yet, just read "Flies" and skip this altogether. Zzzzzzzzzzz…..
As he lampoons the Yuppies in The Tortilla Curtain he does here the Hippies. Fair enough. There is no doubt T.C. can be a captivating writer but I don't think this is as good as Tortilla Curtain or The Road to Wellville. Neither the prose nor the story line itself is compelling enough to carry this long a book.