T.C. Boyle Stories I_ The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle
T. C. Boyle
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T. C. Boyle is one of the most inventive and wickedly funny short story writers at work today. Over the course of twenty-five years, Boyle has built up a body of short fiction that is remarkable in its range, richness, and exuberance. His stories have won accolades for their irony and black humor, for their verbal pyrotechnics, for their fascination with everything bizarre and queasy, and for the razor-sharp way in which they dissect America's obsession with image and materialism.
Gathered together here are all of the stories that have appeared in his four previous collections, as well as seven that have never before appeared in book form. Together they comprise a book of small treasures, a definitive gift for Boyle fans and for every reader ready to discover the "ferocious, delicious imagination" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) of a "vibrant sensibility fully engaged with American society" (The New York Times).
it as well as I do.” Now Cullum spoke for the first time, his voice a high, nagging rasp, like static. “Arkson,” he said, driving nails into the first syllable, “I ain’t got all day.” It was then that Melissa, giggling like a machine and with a pair of ice-cream cones thrust up like torches over her head, came tearing around the side of the building, her sister in pursuit. Marcia was not giggling. She was crying in frustration, wailing as if her heart had been torn out, and cutting the air with
rumor is not easily squelched, and the whole affair left a bad taste. He is dozing in an armchair, three Furballs purring in his lap. In the hall, the sound of his son’s hoofs like a drumbeat on the linoleum. His eyes flutter open, caught in the rift between consciousness and the deeps. He stands. Gropes for his glasses. Una lies asleep on the davenport, the snake coiled round her like a meandering stream. He finds the tail. It stiffens under his fingers, then goes limp. He heaves, fireman and
grandfather, who years later dressed in a suit for my father’s funeral and was mistaken for a banker, had had a heart attack and he wasn’t drinking. Or rather, he was strictly enjoined from drinking, and my parents, who drank themselves, drank a lot, drank too much, took pains to secrete the liquor supply. Every bottle was removed from the cabinet, even the odd things that hadn’t been touched in years—except by me, when I furtively unscrewed the cap of this or that and took a sniff or touched my
fist wavered under Akaky’s nose for an instant, then dropped into the darkness and hammered him three or four times in the midsection. Suddenly Akaky was on the ground, crying out like an abandoned infant, while the big man rolled him over and his accomplice tugged at the sleeve of the overcoat. Ten seconds later it was over. Akaky lay on the ground in his standard-brown serge suit and imitation plastic galoshes, doubled up in the fetal position, gasping for breath. The thugs were gone. In the
As it turned out, Hal was two hours late. He was from California, after all, and this was his party. He hadn’t seen any of these people in what—six years now?—and there was no way he was going to be cheated out of his grand entrance. At seven he pulled a pair of baggy parachute pants over his pink high-tops, stuck a gold marijuana-leaf stud through the hole in his left earlobe, wriggled into an Ozzie Osbourne Barf Tour T-shirt though it was twenty-six degrees out and driving down sleet, and