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Drop City | [T. Coraghessan Boyle]

Drop City

T.C. Boyle is hailed as "America's most imaginative contemporary novelist" (Newsweek). In 1970, a California commune pulls up stakes and moves to the harsh interior of Alaska. The members establish Drop City, a back-to-the-land town, on a foundation of peace and free love. But their idealism cannot prevent tension from rippling through the group. The results are anything but predictable in this honest, surprising evocation of a time period and its enduring beliefs.
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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling, PEN-Faulkner award-winning author of The Tortilla Curtain, T.C. Boyle is hailed as "America's most imaginative contemporary novelist" (Newsweek). In 1970, a California commune pulls up stakes and moves to the harsh interior of Alaska. The members establish Drop City, a back-to-the-land town, on a foundation of peace and free love. But their idealism cannot prevent tension from rippling through the group. The results are anything but predictable in this honest, surprising evocation of a time period and its enduring beliefs.

©2003 T. Coraghessan Boyle; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Boyle understands the multitudinous, sneaky ways innocence insulates itself from ambiguity, but in this novel he leavens that cynical insight with genuine sweetness. While the Day-Glo of the hippie era has long since faded, this novel brings it all back home, and helps us see how much in the American grain it all really was." (Publishers Weekly
"Boyle captures the drop-out-and-get-back-to-the-land spirit of the era, as well as the chill and isolation of the Alaska winter, with a clarity that has earned him a reputation as one of our best writers. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"An accomplished, versatile storyteller and discerning social observer, Boyle writes with enthralling momentum and seductive detail." (Booklist)
"Boyle may be the most entertaining writer in America." (Boston Globe)
"One of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (229 )
5 star
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3.7 (69 )
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Story
3.8 (71 )
5 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Grossman Olympia, WA. 08-24-12
    D. Grossman Olympia, WA. 08-24-12

    Warmth and Comfort seeker

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Drop out or In way of life"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    overall, it was well spent; however, there were some long and tedious parts to this story, which were probably representative of the times.


    If you’ve listened to books by T. Coraghessan Boyle before, how does this one compare?

    This was my first.


    What about Richard Poe’s performance did you like?

    He read very well for all the different characters even though some were better than others.


    Was Drop City worth the listening time?

    It felt more worth it after discussing it with my book group and hearing added dimensions of the experience with people from a similar age group.


    Any additional comments?

    People who were under 50 felt it was boring and a waste of time. I'm over 60, so i could relate to the experiences expressed in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 12-07-11
    Catherine 12-07-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really bad narration!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 11-27-11
    Richard Delman San Francisco 11-27-11 Member Since 2013

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Magnificent, compelling: A masterpiece"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela The Woodlands, TX, United States 01-28-11
    Pamela The Woodlands, TX, United States 01-28-11

    Pam

    ratings
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    2
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    "Disappointing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katharine Hoefer 01-04-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Great book"

    I loved the book. I loved the sarcastic tone of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 12-15-08
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 12-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good listen"

    An interesting story that did a good job with portraying the spirit of the time while developing the characters. Great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-15-08
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-15-08 Member Since 2010

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting story, anticlimatic ending"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Raleigh, NC, USA 01-02-07
    Glenn Raleigh, NC, USA 01-02-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best T.C. Boyle"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 01-28-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 01-28-14 Member Since 2010

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stopped Listening - YAWN!"

    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…..

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 07-31-05
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 07-31-05 Member Since 2002

    stephens1414

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What's good for the goose..."

    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.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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