If the River Was Whiskey

If the River Was Whiskey

by T. C. Boyle
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In sixteen stories, T.C. Boyle tears through the walls of contemporary society to reveal a world at once comic and tragic, droll and horrific. Boyle introduces us to a death-defying stuntman who rides across the country strapped to the axle of a Peterbilt, and to a retired primatologist who can’t adjust to the “civilized” world. He chronicles the

Overview

In sixteen stories, T.C. Boyle tears through the walls of contemporary society to reveal a world at once comic and tragic, droll and horrific. Boyle introduces us to a death-defying stuntman who rides across the country strapped to the axle of a Peterbilt, and to a retired primatologist who can’t adjust to the “civilized” world. He chronicles the state of romance that requires full-body protection in a disease-conscious age and depicts with aching tenderness the relationship between a young boy and his alcoholic father. These magical and provocative stories mark yet another virtuoso performance from one of America’s most supple and electric literary inventors.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Books of the Century
...[A]ll the linguistic acrobatics and hip, erudite audacity one expects from this author...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The pleasure of pure storytelling makes Boyle's new collection of fiction a joy to read. The author (World's End) filters a diverse cast of characters through his witty, relentless narrative voice. Employing parody, social satire and traditional storytelling methods, Boyle's 16 stories invoke vastly different fictional worlds. The author gives us a death-defying stuntman (in ``Human Fly''), a fast-talking pitchman briefing the Ayatollah on how to improve his image (``Hard Sell''), a businessman who sells his soul to the devil (``The Devil and Irv Cherniske''), a New York construction worker's vision of the Virgin at a religious shrine in Ireland (``The Miracle at Ballinspittle''), even a young man romancing a woman pathologically afraid of germs (``Modern Love''). All of these stories seem fueled by the writer's own curiosity about people and places, but a few, unfortunately, read like throwaways. These stand out because most of the book is so full of diversity, wit and daring.
Library Journal
Boyle has won praise for his novels, particularly the exuberant Water Music, but his stories show him at his versatile best. This third collection ranges widely, from the gently humorous ``Sorry Fugu,'' about a restaurateur's encounter with a food critic, to the horrific ``King Bee,'' a portrait of a spiritual changeling. The only disappointing element is Boyle's frequent disdain for his characters; thus ``The Devil and Irv Cherniske'' is no more than a sour variation on a tired theme. But then along comes the deeply felt title story, about an alcoholic father and his failed relationship with his son, and all doubt vanishes. -- Grove Koger, Boise Public Library, Idaho

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140119503
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/1990
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.72(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Boyle is a consummate entertainer, a verbal showman, and explosively gifted satirist.”—The New York Times Book Review 

“Boyle has the tale-teller’s gift in abundance. . . . The eye is sharp and focused, the ear has perfect pitch.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Writing at its very, very best.”—USA Today

Meet the Author

T.C. Boyle is the author of thirteen novels, including World’s End, which won the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award; Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Women. He has also published nine collections of stories and was the recipient of the prestigious PEN/Malmud Award for Excellence in the short story.  His stories appear in The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, McSweeney’s, and Playboy. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he lives in California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Santa Barbara California
Date of Birth:
December 2, 1948
Place of Birth:
Peekskill, New York
Education:
B.A. in music, State University of New York at Potsdam, 1970; Ph.D. in literature, Iowa University, 1977
Website:
http://www.tcboyle.com/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >