Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw

4.6 5
by T. C. Boyle

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"The fourteen stories gathered here, which have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper's, McSweeney's and Playboy, as well as in the O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Stories volumes, display Boyle's imaginative muscle, emotional sensitivity and astonishing range. There are the whimsical tales for which Boyle is famous, including "Swept Away," which tells of a…  See more details below


"The fourteen stories gathered here, which have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper's, McSweeney's and Playboy, as well as in the O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Stories volumes, display Boyle's imaginative muscle, emotional sensitivity and astonishing range. There are the whimsical tales for which Boyle is famous, including "Swept Away," which tells of a female ornithologist who falls in love on the blustery island of Unst, and "The Kind Assassin," about a bored and loveless radio shock jock who sets the world record for most continuous hours without sleep - and who may never sleep again." In the title story, a young man must contend with a vicious feral cat from Africa that he has won in a bar bet. And who could resist the power of "Dogology," about a young woman in suburban New England who becomes so obsessed with man's best friend that she begins to lose her own identity to a pack of strays, of "Chicxulub," a nerve-shattering tale of collision, whether it be that of a young woman with a car or of huge objects from outer space slamming into the planet.

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Editorial Reviews

Annie Proulx
Inside Tooth and Claw are Boyle's trademark taut writing, immediate intimacy, vivid language, and meaty words and phrases including "liver muggies," "foude" and "testudineous." Cherish the writer who stretches your mind a little. These characters speak and tell their stories in the slouchy dialogue we all use, their girlfriends throw them out, they confront one another, break up and throw up, they shriek, their flesh prickles, they slip, sink, fall, they brush lips with death, but somehow most escape the deep kiss.
— The Washington Post
Laura Miller
… Boyle provides ample delights -- a robust sense of place, crackerjack dialogue, real stories -- on the way to his expected endings. He often works in a comic mode with roots in Mark Twain's tall tales; a number of these stories have the endearing air of being related from a bar stool (and many of them have scenes in bars). A handful are written in a more respectable, less plotted style, and these deal, of course, with grief, an emotion that has become something of a fetish in today's literary fiction. Yet even these tonier outings have solid narrative backbones.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
The threat of imminent demise-whether self-inflicted or from an ungentle Mother Nature-hovers in Boyle's seventh collection (after the novel The Inner Circle). Ravenous alligators make a memorable cameo in "Jubilation," in which a divorced man seeking community and stability moves into a "model" town erected in a Florida theme park (think Disney's Celebration), only to find that benign surfaces conceal dangerous depths. This theme of civilization versus wilderness also underpins the weird and wonderful "Dogology," in which a young woman's frustration with the accoutrements of the human world compels her to run-on all fours-with a pack of neighborhood dogs. "Here Comes"-one of the collection's more realistic pieces-describes the anxious circumstances of a suddenly homeless alcoholic poised to slip through the cracks for good in a Southern California town. Substance abuse figures again in "Up Against the Wall," about a young man seduced by a dissolute new crowd, while his parents' marital discord and the Vietnam War tug at the edges of his drugged-out awareness. The wired rhythm of Boyle's prose and the enormity of his imagination make this collection irresistible; with it he continues to shore up his place as one of the most distinctive, funniest-and finest-writers around. (On sale Sept. 12) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Published on the heels of his novel The Inner Circle, Boyle's seventh collection continues the move away from the high-concept narrative hooks and surprise endings that characterized his earlier stories. The title comes from Tennyson's In Memoriam and refers to nature's cruelty and indifference to suffering. In some of these tales, the predators are animals; in others, human. In the title story, a man adopts a vicious African cat in order to impress a sexy cocktail waitress. Substance abuse is an underlying theme throughout. In the frightening "Here Comes," for instance, a man tries to adjust to his new life as a homeless drunk, while in "Up Against the Wall"-clearly an autobiographical tale, catching Boyle in an unusual confessional mode-a young teacher stranded in rural New York is recruited into the heroin lifestyle. This strong collection will delight Boyle's longtime fans and win him converts. For public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/05.]-Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Darker tones and an impressive range of subjects dominate this impressive collection of 14 vivid stories, the seventh from one of our most versatile and prolific writers. Boyle displays his manic surrealist's wares in wry tales concerning a roughhewn Shetland Islander whose unlikely romance with a lissome American ornithologist is imperiled by violent winds continuously plaguing the isle of Unst ("Swept Away"); a retiree's passive adjustment to a Florida theme park and housing complex transformed by its draconian "Covenants and Restrictions" into an Orwellian nightmare ("Jubilation"); and in the superb "Dogology," which juxtaposes a revenge tale involving feral children in India with the regression of a woman field biologist who undertakes "reordering her senses" through intimate orientation in the canine world. Several considerably grimmer stories focus on hapless substance abusers: a recently divorced narrator who encounters the grieving father of a college fraternity drinking binge's victim ("When I Woke Up This Morning, Everything I Had Was Gone"); a destitute loser sunk in homelessness and hopelessness ("Here Comes"); and an unstable drunk whose repeated risk-taking undermines his continuing dumb luck ("All the Wrecks I've Crawled Out Of"). A sense of looming global catastrophe takes the varied forms of a Mexican rancher's disbelieving encounter with a "doomsaying" scientist ("Blinded by the Light"); the father of a reported fatal auto crash's victim, obsessed with past and future Armageddons ("Chicxlub"); and-metaphorically-in the title story's account of its underachieving protagonist's enslavement to a ferociously untameable African predator. Even better are the tale of a radioco-host's assault on the world record for "continuous hours without sleep" ("The Kind Assassin"); a rich fictionalization of the famous journal detailing Sarah Kemble Knight's arduous travels through the rural colonial northeastern U.S. ("The Doubtfulness of Water"); and a perfectly calibrated portrayal of a callow "ghetto school" teacher's scary walk on the wild side ("Up Against the Wall"). Vintage Boyle, and not to be missed.
From the Publisher
"A dazzling new collection from a writer of "roaring intelligence and a curiosity that has led him to develop a masterly range of subjects and locales" —Annie Proulx, The Washington Post

"In T.C. Boyle's fierce, funny new collection, men are fools, women hold the sexual cards, and nature is full of surprises, few of them pleasant." —Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

Viking Adult
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Tooth and Claw 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Name: duh... <p> Age is 11 moons. <p> looks: eyes blue and black fur. <p> personality: kind and caring. <p> if you need more just ask. Bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is at oceanus result one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name; Clawstar &pi Age; It's rude to ask a lady her age :3 &pi Gender; Female &pi Appearance; Built for harsh leaf bare- Long white silky fur with tan and black spots on her cheek tufts. Her tail has the same pattern. Her back right paw is gray, and her front left paw is tan. Her muzzle is gray, as around her eyes aswell. Her eyes are green with grey and blue flecks scattered in them. He has the tip of her right ear bitten off, but it puts her at no advantage. Her claws and teeth are abnormally long and sharp. &pi Personality; Very nice and helpful. She will help you with anything, but can be a little sarcastic at times. Dont get on her bad side; she is a fierce playmate. &pi Kin/Mate/Crush/Kits; Lilytail (Sister, RPed by self, out of order.), Razorpaw (RPed by self, Tigerclan) / Nope/ I just made this clan .-. / Adopted, Razorpaw &pi Other; Feel free to ask anything. I may post history someplace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Age 6 moons <p> Gender female<p> Pelt color all white<p> Eye color blue<p> Past was born to a loner has a bother and sister but hated the life of loner so when she was 5 and a half moons old he set off to find a clan<p> Personality kind of shy but hen you gt to know her she is really outgoing and kind<p>