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A Friend of the Earthby T. C. Boyle
The year is 2025 and the earth has pretty much gone to shit. Boyle is humorous enough to make an unseemly world funny, though not bearable. Global warming is a given, the biosphere has collapsed, and most animals are extinct. Told by a once passionate environmentalist who's now just trying to survive, A Friend of the Earth is idealism and satire delivered without pathos.
Synopses & Reviews
It is the year 2025. Global warming is a reality. The biosphere has collapsed and most mammals not to mention fish, birds, and frogs are extinct. Tyrone Tierwater is eking out a bleak living in southern California, managing a pop star's private menagerie that "only a mother could love" scruffy hyenas, jackals, warthogs, and three down-at-the-mouth lions.
It wasn't always like this for Ty. Once he was a passionate environmentalist, so committed to saving the earth that he became an eco-terrorist and, ultimately, a convicted felon. As a member of the radical group Earth Forever!, he unwittingly endangered both his daughter Sierra and his wife Andrea. Now, just when he's trying to survive in a world torn by obdurate storms and winnowing drought, Andrea comes back into his life.
T. C. Boyle's eighth novel blends idealism and satire in a story that addresses the ultimate questions of human love and the survival of the species.
"Funny and touching, antic and affecting....[W]hile Boyle's humor is as black as ever, he demonstrates that satire can coexist with psychological realism, comedy with compassion." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Both entertaining and informative...hits like a warning shot from twenty-five years into the future." Chicago Tribune
"As disaster tales go, this is a sly, hip one....Boyle has always liked to play circus barker for life's extremes, and what better freak show than the environmental apocalypse itself?" The Washington Post
"As usual, Boyle's razor-edged style is an unnerving pleasure." L.S. Klepp, Entertainment Weekly
"In his new work, Boyle mercilessly skewers developers and environmentalists alike; clearly, developers have trashed the planet, but Boyle also shows that Tierwater's monkeywrenching is partly destruction for its own sake, and Earth Forever! is more interested in protecting its own bureaucracy than the environment....What results is powerful satire that rethinks the basic premises of Edward Abbey's classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, arguing that there are no quick and easy solutions. This book shows Boyle maturing from a glib comedic talent to a more serious novelist." Library Journal
Blending idealism and satire, this story set in the year 2025 addresses universal questions of human love and the survival of the species. Global warming has collapsed the biosphere, and 75-year-old environmentalist Ty Tierwater is eking out a living as care-taker of a pop star's private zoo when his second ex-wife reenters his life.
In the tradition of The Tortilla Curtain, T.C. Boyle blends idealism and satire in a story that addresses the universal questions of human love and the survival of the species. In the year 2025 global warming is a reality, the biosphere has collapsed, and 75-year-old environmentalist Ty Tierwater is eking out a living as care-taker of a pop star's private zoo when his second ex-wife re-enters his life.
Both gritty and surreal, A Friend of the Earth represents a high-water mark in Boyle's career-his deep streak of social concern is effortlessly blended here with genuine compassion for his characters and the spirit of sheer exhilarating playfulness readers have come to expect from his work.
About the Author
T.C. Boyle is the author of eight novels, including The Tortilla Curtain, The Road to Wellville, East Is East, and World's End (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award), and five collections of stories. In 1999 he received the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction. His stories appear regularly in major American magazines, including The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, and Playboy.
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