Saturday, May 19, 2007

t.c. boyle

‘Drop City’ is the name of a commune of around 70 hippies (with its leader, ‘Norm’), in California. Everything is going well until authorities make them leave the paradisiacal California and Norm comes up with the idea of going to the border of Alaska, where an uncle has left him a cabin. This is an ironic challenge to these people, but they embark on it and decide to endure the hardships of the Alaskan winter. Here Boyle makes great description of the landscape, the wildlife (as in when an immense wolf tampers into their land) with a highly poetic tone.
Norm’s motto is LATWIDNO -- Land Access to Which is Denied Nobody, and this invites a series of unusual characters that spend their time doing ceramics, preparing brownies with hash, putting acid in their orange Juice (one of the extreme scenes, when a little girl drinks the juice containing acid while her mother, ‘mother earth’, coolly waits for her trip to pass), beading hair bands on their heads, and practicing free love.
T.C. Boyle has a good ear for dialogue, and I like this novel because it is not only very entertaining, but it allow us to take a look at this plastic society and re-think what is often called ‘the American dream’.


k k kueen said...

Thanks for recommending this book to me a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed it, particularly the descriptions of communal life and the dialogue in that portion of the book. Plus...a great story. I've read a couple of other Boyle books since then. None compares to this one.

nico said...

i agree, i think he has a new novel now, but the hippie wave there is impossible to beat, you're right!