I really enjoyed the book, but I did NOT like the narrators voice. It was much too rough and scraggly, even hard to follow at times. Apart from the qualities of the narrators voice he made a good performance at narrating.
T.C. Boyle is one of the most creative imaginative writers this world has known. The way he words some of the most simple mundane things makes me giggle and emphasize. He covers topics that we can walk away with feeling like we actually learned something. This man is truly gifted. At first the narrator drove me crazy with his fast paced downer style. But then by the end, I realize that no one else could have pulled this off better. Just the right personality. Still, though, I wish he would have slowed it down a pace, especially in the beginning while we are still trying to grasp the story.
Boyle's picture of ambiguity and hypocrisy, potential and realized, comes through much as it did in Tortilla Curtain. Flawed characters are nothing if not believable, even when their antics push the limits of credibility. Having spent time in California reserves, I do recommend this novel for both its compelling storyline and its many insights to both the California of wine bars and wilderness. Narration was a problem when Heald tried to reflect excitement by speeding up -- hard to follow.