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The Tortilla Curtain Audiobook

The Tortilla Curtain

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Publisher's Summary

Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered, sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: He is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine.

From the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

Winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger and now a major motion picture.

©1995 T. Coraghessan Boyle; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Narration by the Author or Authors

"A compelling story of myopic misunderstanding and mutual tragedy." (Chicago Tribune)

"This highly engaging story subtly plays on our consciences, forcing us to form, confirm, or dispute social, political, and moral viewpoints....Boyle manages to address these issues in a nonjudgmental fashion, depicting the vast inequity in [the characters'] parallel existences. This is a profound and tragic tale." (Booklist)

“This novel examines America's guerrilla war between the haves and have-nots with a zing unequalled since The Bonfire of the Vanities.” (The Observer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (447 )
5 star
 (174)
4 star
 (139)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (24)
Overall
4.0 (237 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (236 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bobbi B 07-14-07
    Bobbi B 07-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    295
    4
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    1
    6
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I really enjoyed listening to the author read his book. The story was very enlightening to me regarding the different issues each character had to face.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irishconfusion Ray, MI, United States 08-18-07
    Irishconfusion Ray, MI, United States 08-18-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
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    6
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    Overall
    "Too little too late"

    I found this book to be quite tedious. The narrator did not appeal to me at all. But even worse, I kept waiting for the two story lines in this book to intersect. They finally do. Unfortunately I had to wait until the very last minute of the book for this to happen. I was disappointed.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill S. 12-13-12
    Bill S. 12-13-12

    swadmeister

    HELPFUL VOTES
    196
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    139
    68
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    5
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"
    Any additional comments?

    Great, deep themes. Wonderful characters. Emotional, despairing, frustrating. Like not being able to look away from a train wreck. Highly recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parola138 Czech Republic 11-30-11
    Parola138 Czech Republic 11-30-11 Listener Since 2005

    We bite

    HELPFUL VOTES
    456
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    This book blew me away. I am impressed that the writer could pen both sides- the yuppie white folks living in their suburban fortresses, and the down-and-out mexicans living in the woods, with such authenticity. Narration was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 10-11-09
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 10-11-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "A Bit Disappointed in this One"

    I have enjoyed short stories by this author, but I didn't particularly enjoy this novel. There are no likeable characters and the story is quite unbelievable without feeling exactly like a fantasy. So many details that aim to make this sound authentic, but it didn't work for me.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 04-08-13
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 04-08-13 Member Since 2007

    The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    203
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    55
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    Overall
    Performance
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    "Little details add up to one good read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Tortilla Curtain the most enjoyable?

    This is the first T.C. Boyle book I have ever read and I can say it is one of the best contemporary novels I have read in a very long time. The characters were the biggest reason I liked it, probably because I could really identify with several of them, in particular, the white, suburban liberals in the story. Boyle did an amazing job of depicting the continual self-analysis and self-doubt of the typical liberal (me), who wants to come down on the side of the oppressed, but then has a running monolog inside his/her head arguing the other side as soon as the chips are down. Many passages describing the interior debates of the main character had me laughing out loud, recognizing the ludicrousness of much upper middle-class political correctness. In particular, the irony of the woman who was outraged at the treatment of a dog but then couldn’t care less what was happening to the human beings (Mexicans) in her neighborhood was a great reminder of how we often have our priorities completely f%^*-up. Little details like the fact that the white protagonists were lunching salade nicoise with a baguette from the local French bakery, while at the same time, the Mexican protagonists were practically starving in a ravine a short distance away, made me wince, they were so spot-on. The book also helped me better understand some of the reasons why people in states that have a lot of illegal immigrants are so militant about the issue of immigration. I live in Wisconsin, but even here we are not immune to some of the heavy-handed treatment of immigrants (see my review of “Rescuing Regina” for more on that).


    Any additional comments?

    I went against my normal rule and listened to this book on audio even though it was read by the author himself. To my surprise, he did a very good job and I would definitely purchase another audio of Boyle reading his own work.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Demetra 11-18-08
    Demetra 11-18-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
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    Overall
    "Had to pull the curtain!!"

    I could not finish this book. I kept waiting for the story to start. I listened for several hours and felt like it was all background. So much negativity, depression and disaster. This is the first audiobook I had to quit listening to. I read the reviews before I bought it and I can't believe so many people loved it. Guess I'm just a murder, mystery kind of girl.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 07-23-07
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 07-23-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
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    53
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    9
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    Overall
    "ridiculously great"

    People don't write books like this anymore and people rarely read books of this caliber any more. This is hands down a classic. Writing is top notch. Story compelling. The events and emotions poignant. The reading of it is great too. One of the best I've heard on audio.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janaki Kuruppu Rockville, MD United States 01-13-17
    Janaki Kuruppu Rockville, MD United States 01-13-17 Member Since 2015

    jkuruppu

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overall, a great story with vivid characters"

    This story follows two families, headed by two men - one a privileged, liberal - minded ecologist nature writer married to a hard-driving realtor; the other an illegal Mexican immigrant with a young pregnant wife, and tracks the intersections between these two realities. Interesting exploration of how expectations change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye Sergeant 01-06-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "realistic but hard to listen to"

    the story was too down for me. Being aware of hardships is one thing, but everything being so wrong was hard to endure. Not my kind of book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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