Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of The Women comes an action- packed adventure about endangered animals and those who protect them.
Principally set on the wild and sparsely inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, T.C. Boyle's powerful new novel combines pulse-pounding adventure with a socially conscious, richly humane tale regarding the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world. Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist who is spearheading the efforts to save the island's endangered native creatures from invasive species like rats and feral pigs, which, in her view, must be eliminated. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a dreadlocked local businessman who, along with his lover, the folksinger Anise Reed, is fiercely opposed to the killing of any species whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert the plans of Alma and her colleagues.
Their confrontation plays out in a series of escalating scenes in which these characters violently confront one another, and tempt the awesome destructive power of nature itself. Boyle deepens his story by going back in time to relate the harrowing tale of Alma's grandmother Beverly, who was the sole survivor of a 1946 shipwreck in the channel, as well as the tragic story of Anise's mother, Rita, who in the late 1970s lived and worked on a sheep ranch on Santa Cruz Island. In dramatizing this collision between protectors of the environment and animal rights' activists, Boyle is, in his characteristic fashion, examining one of the essential questions of our time: Who has the right of possession of the land, the waters, the very lives of all the creatures who share this planet with us? When the Killing's Done will offer no transparent answers, but like The Tortilla Curtain, Boyle's classic take on illegal immigration, it will touch you deeply and put you in a position to decide.
A superb new collection from "a writer who can take you anywhere" (The New York Times)
In the title story of this rich new collection, T.C. Boyle has created so vivid and original a retelling of the story of Victor, the feral boy who was captured running naked through the forests of Napoleonic France, that it becomes not just new but definitive: yes, this is how it must have been. The tale is by turns magical and moving, a powerful investigation of what it means to be human.
There is perhaps no one better than T.C. Boyle at engaging, shocking, and ultimately gratifying his readers while at the same time testing his characters' emotional and physical endurance. The fourteen stories gathered here display both Boyle's astonishing range and his imaginative muscle. Nature is the dominant player in many of these stories, whether in the form of the catastrophic mudslide that allows a cynic to reclaim his own humanity ("La Conchita") or the wind-driven fires that howl through a high California canyon ("Ash Monday"). Other tales range from the drama of a man who spins Homeric lies in order to stop going to work, to that of a young woman who must babysit for a $250,000 cloned Afghan and the sad comedy of a child born to Mexican street vendors who is unable to feel pain.
Brilliant, incisive, and always entertaining, Boyle's short stories showcase the mischievous humor and socially conscious sensibility that have made him one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.
T.C. Boyle's most powerful and fully realized work yet-andquot;terrifically exciting and unapologetically relevantandquot; (The Washington Post).
Principally set on the wild Channel Islands off the coast of California, T.C. Boyle's new novel is a gripping adventure with a timely theme. Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist spearheading the efforts to save the islands' native creatures from invasive species. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a local businessman who is fiercely opposed to the killing of any animals whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert her plans. As their confrontation plays out in a series of scenes escalating in violence, drama, and danger, When the Killing's Done relates a richly humane tale about the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world.
The brilliant and acclaimed New York Times bestseller from the author of The Women and When the Killings Done
Just off the coast of Southern California, two familiesone in the 1880s and one in the 1930scome to desolate, windswept San Miguel Island in search of self-reliance, freedom, and a new start in their lives. Both Marantha Waters and Elise Lester strive to help their war veteran husbands pursue their dreams but must themselves grapple with the more nebulous hardships of raising a family in brutal isolation. Boyle skillfully captures that tension-filled quietude” (The New Times Book Review) in this lyrical, intimate, and unforgettable novel.
About the Author
T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World's End
(winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City
(a New York Times
bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle
. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw
and The Human Fly and Other Stories