38 Down, 14 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

The Human Fly and Other Stories is a collection of mostly teenage Americana by author T.C. Boyle. While mostly dealing with teenage perspectives, Boyle manages to inhabit an incredible range of voices and moods in the book. I particularly relished the story Beat, which is an affectionate and pretty much note-perfect send-up of Kerouac’s frenzied Beat stylings in which a wide-eyed 17 year-old meets the Beat Saint himself.

The rest range from realistically depressing depictions of real love, 50s teen night at the make-out point gone horribly wrong and a hilarious look at if Lassie ever got in heat. What really gets me about Boyle is how effortless he switches register and atmosphere between tales, while retaining a sort of signature absurdity that seems to me to be his distinctive voice. This book is practically brimming with wit and humanity at every turn, I think T.C Boyle is quite the interesting discovery.

The Human Fly and Other Stories
(ISBN No: 0670060542) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Diaspora by Greg Egan


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