Wednesday, April 19, 2006

37. "World's End" ~ T.C. Boyle

When confronted with a three-page cast of characters, it is easy to roll one's eyes and sigh in mock frustration. But delving into the world of T.C. Boyle always takes a monumental plunge, and I've yet to be disappointed by the fall.

In World's End, Boyle weaves the lives of settlers, hippies, landholders, renters, displaced natives, and activists - over two main time frames. As always, I wonder whether Boyle's imagination is more padded than the rest of us or if he is simply a master of research. The thick details and imagery is like the viscous mud of the Blood River, sucking the reader into this World's End.

"What's it about?" a friend asked. I coughed on my response. It's 400-plus pages of battles, fights to maintain family ties or separate from them, rumbles to prove one's sense of "right," spats to keep time from influencing progress.

The auto-biographical elements did pull me out of it, however, but for those of you not familiar with T.C. Boyle will not be bothered by that.

4.15 out of 5.0 Tall Ships.

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