©2003 T. Coraghessan Boyle; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"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)
Boyle's vision has typically been too uncomfortably honest for me. Drop City, although excruciatingly embarrassing to a survivor of the days of peace and love, didn't evoke the usual feelings of hopelessness and the lack of any possible redemption and allowed for real insights. I recommend highly this funny and original book.
Audible Member Since 2003
This is the first T.C. Boyle title I have listened to and I enjoyed it enough to want to listen to more from this author.
Like many of the other reviewers here, I too was a young person during the 60’s and 70’s. Like looking at an old photo album of ourselves, I was personally embarrassed to be shown just how clueless many of our ‘enlightened’ generation really were. Boyle not only captures much of the lingo used, but many of the misdirected values and attitudes of that time. And so it went with the ‘brothers and sisters’ of Drop City, an agglomeration of individuals proclaiming peace and love, while really wanting not much more than plenty of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
This book is really two stories of two different worlds, that end up strangely colliding and, somehow, coexisting. The hippie commune in sunny California is evicted by their fed-up neighbors and relocates to wild, forbidding and frigid Alaska. They yearned to get back to nature and live in the bounty of Mother Earth. They soon learn that the nature in Alaska is about as maternal as the savage wolverines who there reside. And winters with temperatures of sixty below zero where sunlight is no more than a rumor, might send even the most alienated peacenik scrambling back to the bosom of the plastic establishment and the creature-comforts of civilization.
This book is a story of the individuals from opposite environments and contradicting values living in very uncomfortable conditions. I got the very clear message that condition of being human is really the overwhelming common denominator.
I loved this book, my second TC Boyle read! Two stories develop simultaneously, each with oddball yet interesting characters doing things on the edge. When they merge about half way through, I was surprised that these seemingly disparate characters not only mesh well together, but actually bring out some of the best (and worst) in each other. As with "The Tortilla Curtain," the ending might leave some readers feeling like they just dropped of the edge of a cliff--there is more to know, more that I want to know about these characters. And the hopeful note it ends on, also like the previous book, kepts me licking my lips for another taste of their lives.
A story about the "lost" part of the Love Generation. Great writing, amazing language, and fantasic reader makes for a wonderful experience.
As a sixties survivor, I'd given up reading books about the period because they fall so far short of capturing the craziness and wonder of those times, but Boyle gives it the best shot I've encountered. He starts with a great cast of dropped-out hippies on a commune in California and moves them to a small town in Alaska where they collide with the local redneck culture. Difficult circumstances put the hippies and their dreamy value system to the test, revealing some weakness and some strength, a lot of drama and a lot of laughs. Boyle's people are so real you think he had to have been there, and his Alaska, too. Most sixties books are one dimensional, whether they view the hippies as heroes or fools, but Boyle reveals them as real people living real struggles. This is just a fundamentally good novel, with great characters, great setting and great action.
T.C. Boyle's "Drop City" is a wonderful novel, and one that benefits from being read aloud. The author's command of the language is both masterful and inventive. It is unfortunate that this mischievous, captivating tale is conveyed through a voice both rasping and nasal. (I ended up downloading the audiobook a second time, at a higher quality recording, in hopes this would be ameliorated). In addition, the narrator employs some decidedly odd pronunciations. Granted, T.C. Boyle has an extensive vocabulary - one of the joys of reading his work, in my opinion - but I don't think it is too much to ask that "banal" and "eschew" be pronounced correctly. In spite of all this, I recommend the audiobook.
T.C Boyle knows of what he writes and Richard Poe has the perfect pitch in his narration of this great novel. Anyone living in the 60's will squirm with embarrassment upon hearing the way we were.
I enjoy listening to audiobooks while working in my shop or around the house -sort of mental multitasking.
I found the book a very interesting listen. It was a true picture of one type of lifestyle in the late 60's and early 70's. However, I found it to be little more than an interesting portrait of the times. It ended abruptly, leaving one to wonder, "What was the point?" There was no real conclusion. The author just stopped writing.
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