TC Boyle is a master at demonstrating the pathos and struggle of everyday life. The Tortilla Curtain is definitely an unvarnished look at the great gulf between the haves and the have-nots. Despite Boyle having written this book nearly 20 years ago, the story is perhaps even more pertinent in 2013. The narrative is compelling in the way a Steinbeck story compels--one hopes against hope for some bright outcome, despite all signs pointing to tragedy. The narration is a seamless fit with the author's work.
There is nothing like the audio versions of McCourt's memoirs, all of them read by the author. What could be more enticing than getting an answer to the reader's most compelling question: WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? In 'Tis, McCourt brings his young adult years in New York vividly to life: His struggle to survive working class poverty, loneliness, chronic health problems, and his deep, driving desire to have the education he had always longed for.
If you haven't listened to 'Tis, do yourself a favor and go for it. Also highly recommended are his audio narration of Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man.
Frank McCourt was a wonderful writer and is greatly missed.
Somehow I had never heard of Gillian Flynn and chose Gone Girl on a whim. Wow! I was delighted with the surprise turn this novel takes. I'm not the biggest fan of unexpected plot twists--they are difficult to do well and often come across as gratuitous or desperate. I didn't see it coming and was definitely snookered, in the best way possible. Flynn weaves her narrative turn into the fabric of the story like a master and loses not a whisper of momentum as the story rushes to its intriguing conclusion.
I went on to (happily) read Flynn's other novels and am now officially a fan, waiting as patiently as I can for whatever she writes next.
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