Michael in Berkeley, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Michael in Berkeley)
T.C Boyle, an author I knew previously knew only by reputation, has gifted us not only a 'message' novel but an incredibly topical story as well. Alternating chapters between wealthy Los Angelenos with their white wine and gated communities along side stories of the mostly Mexican men and women driven north by poverty and the desire for a better life. Among intersecting worlds, there are no easy answers, mortal ambiguities abounding....a narrative that just plain moves...a book I am eager to get back to and finish. I will be reading more of Mr. Boyle's work is this one is any indication of his talents. Highly recommended.
Anne McCloskey, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Anne McCloskey)
Regardless of your feelings on the controversial subject of immigration, this is a must read book. It follows the lives of two couples in Southern California, a wealthy suburban dwelling professional couple and Mexican illegal immigrants trying to get work. When their lives intersect, the story becomes so compelling.
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Ivan, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Ivan)
A fantastic, thought provoking book. It does a masterful job of showing both sides of the immigration issue, from the perspective of upper-middle class Americans as well as dirt poor immigrants.
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Natalie Aldern, September 19, 2009 (view all comments by Natalie Aldern)
T.C. Boyle does a beautiful job of intertwining the tragic lives of multiple characters. He exposes the chasm between the privileged and the poor by focusing on a wealthy Angelino family that is unwittingly sharing their lives with several illegal immigrants. The callousness of the rich, contrasted with the immigrant's struggle to survive is heart breaking. Being a LA resident, the book really touched me- but the themes are universal and you won't want the novel to end.
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katejordahl, September 16, 2007 (view all comments by katejordahl)
I have just finished “The Tortilla Curtain” and feel crushed in a way by the hopelessness of the situation and relieved by a book that will open the discussion in a way that we can begin to address the distance between our hopes for ourselves as humans and the reality of our limitations. This book has been chosen by my college, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California, for our “One College, One Book, One Community initiative” so I am looking forward to exciting and challenging conversation in the coming school year. This book looks at movement of Mexicans to California in search of work, of upper middle class Americans to gated enclaves to avoid the Mexicans and of people hearts away from their beliefs to avoid the pain. The main characters must travel the immense distance from their intentions to the outcomes of their actions, but the author consistently acknowledges that their intentions are good and real despite the disastrous consequences of happenstance.
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by Chicago Tribune,
"A compelling story of myopic misunderstanding and mutual tragedy."
by The Boston Globe,
"Succeeds in stealing the front page news and bringing it home to the great American tradition of the social novel...A book to appreciate as we peer at the faces of strangers outside our windows, and wall ourselves in."
by Barbara Kingsolver, The Nation,
"What Boyle does, and does well, is lay on the line our national cult of hypocrisy. Comically and painfully he details the smug wastefulness of the haves and the vile misery of the have-nots....Red-blooded Americans of every stripe will find themselves rooting for Candido and America, right up to the rip-roaring deus ex machina ending that screams out that we are all in this together."
"This highly engaging story subtly plays on our consciences, forcing us to form, confirm, or dispute social, political, and moral viewpoints. This is a profound and tragic tale, one that exposes not only a failed American Dream, but a failing America."
From the author of The Road to Wellville comes his most controversial novel yet — a deeply moving story of the men and women who risk everything to cross the Mexican border and invade the American dream.
Winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger
Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he 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. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.