T.C. Boyle Stories II: The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle, Volume II

T.C. Boyle Stories II: The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle, Volume II

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by T. C. Boyle
     
 

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A second volume of collected short fiction from the bestselling author and winner of the 2015 Rea Award for the Short Story

Few authors write with such sheer love of story and language as T.C. Boyle, and that is nowhere more evident than in his inventive, wickedly funny, and always entertaining short stories. In 1998, T.C. Boyle Stories brought

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Overview

A second volume of collected short fiction from the bestselling author and winner of the 2015 Rea Award for the Short Story

Few authors write with such sheer love of story and language as T.C. Boyle, and that is nowhere more evident than in his inventive, wickedly funny, and always entertaining short stories. In 1998, T.C. Boyle Stories brought together the author’s first four collections to critical acclaim. Now, T.C. Boyle Stories II gathers the work from his three most recent collections along with fourteen new tales previously unpublished in book form as well as a preface in which Boyle looks back on his career as a writer of stories and the art of making them.

By turns mythic and realistic, farcical and tragic, ironic and moving, Boyle’s stories have mapped a wide range of human emotions. The fifty-eight stories in this new volume, written over the last eighteen years, reflect his maturing themes. Along with the satires and tall tales that established his reputation, readers will find stories speaking to contemporary social issues, from air rage to abortion doctors, and character-driven tales of quiet power and passion. Others capture timeless themes, from first love and its consequences to confrontations with mortality, or explore the conflict between civilization and wildness. The new stories find Boyle engagingly testing his characters’ emotional and physical endurance, whether it’s a group of giants being bred as weapons of war in a fictional Latin American country, a Russian woman who ignores dire warnings in returning to her radiation-contaminated home, a hermetic writer who gets more than a break in his routine when he travels to receive a minor award, or a man in a California mountain town who goes a little too far in his concern for a widow.  

Mordant wit, emotional power, exquisite prose: it is all here in abundance. T.C. Boyle Stories II is a grand career statement from a writer whose imagination knows no bounds.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 10/15/2013
This second volume of Boyle's short stories (after Volume 1, 1998) represents his work from the late 1990s to the present and incorporates three story collections—After the Plague (2001), Tooth and Claw (2005), and Wild Child (2010)—and new work not yet published in book form. This is a monumental amount of writing, with the present 900-plus-page volume including 58 stories from the author of 14 highly acclaimed novels. In this case, quantity and quality coexist in good measure, as Boyle's stories are among the best and most memorable of the past three decades. Here, as in Boyle's earlier work, the pieces range from modern-day tall tales such as "Swept Away," which tells of a short-lived romance between an itinerant ornithologist and a shy native from "the northernmost tip of the Isle of Unst" to "torn-from-the-headlines" character-driven pieces featuring, for example, an abortion doctor under siege, a promising young college student in denial about her own pregnancy, and a newly homeless man in his first days of living rough in a Southern California beach town. VERDICT Boyle is a devoted practitioner of the short story with a formidable body of work. This rich title will be of great interest to readers both new and old.—Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-01
Picking up where he left off with his first volume of collected stories in 1998, Boyle (San Miguel, 2012, etc.) serves up an overstuffed gathering of goofy premises and serious turns. Boyle turns Raymond Carver on its side with his relentless insistence that ordinary life is populated by people of glorious weirdness and is, for the most part, far from dreary. The sentiment may be a 1960s holdover, for, in a sharp introduction that (unlike a few stories) goes on too short, he observes that when he started out, he was "a hippie's hippie, so blissed-out and outrageously accoutered that people would stop me on the street and ask if I could sell them acid." Some of these stories have an oddly psychotropic effect, and perhaps origin: Who else would dream up a story about a lovelorn immigrant who digs underground labyrinths on the California frontier? Boyle notes that as he gets that much closer to the void, "the long dark road that inescapably ends in an even darker place," he tends to more nonwhimsical turns, but he still engages full-tilt in explorations of the unbeaten path, arguing against the bulk of his fellow professors, "I say write what you don't know and find something out." Amen. Boyle doesn't usually write short, and some of his stories threaten to deflate before he's quite done with them, but most are gems, marked by beautiful language ("Whiteness loomed, the pale ethereality of nothingness, and blackness too, the black of a dreamless sleep"), nicely imagined moments (a young man reads Crime and Punishment and, just in time to be deterred from existential crime, goes on a picnic), and occasionally dashed dreams--yes, à la Carver--as when a once-famed ballplayer returns to Venezuela in disgrace and has to sell his beloved Hummer, "replacing it with a used van of unknown provenance and a color indistinguishable from the dirt of the streets." A fine and welcome summation--till the next volume--by one of the best storytellers at work today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143125860
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/30/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
944
Sales rank:
374,342
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

 
Praise for T.C. Boyle Stories II

“Boyle’s stories reveal truths about modern life while still feeling beautifully invented…he conceives all kinds of vivid situations and confidently inhabits men and women across a range of ages and ethnicities…he is always enjoyable, virtually incapable of dullness or slack sentences.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Boyle’s stories mix brilliance with high-concept pyrotechnics, meditations with whiz-bangery…he holds nothing back in Stories II…it’s an edifice intended to define a legacy.”The Los Angeles Times

“The first volume of this abidingly exiting writer’s collected short fiction drew refreshed interest in and admiration for his incontestable mastery of the short form.  The second volume, containing 58 stories written since the previous volume appeared, is poised to garner equal enthusiasm…the volume itself poses the question, Can every story by one author be a masterpiece? Boyle’s brilliant book submits itself as evidence for that possibility.”Booklist, starred review
 
 “A fine and welcome summation – till the next volume – by one of the best storytellers at work today…most are gems, marked by beautiful language, nicely imagined moments, and occasionally dashed dreams.” Kirkus, starred review

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