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Drop City Paperback – Deckle Edge, January 27, 2004
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Drop City is funny, evocative, and well-paced, shifting between the hippies and the Alaskan locals--primarily Sess and his new bride Pamela (a city dweller who arranged stays with several trappers over a few weeks to determine whom she would marry)--until the two cultures collide. Balanced between plot and character, Boyle excels at describing the physical world and his characters' interaction with it, whether portraying the harshness (or sheer beauty) of the Alaskan wilderness, the simple survival routines of its grizzled inhabitants, or the sounds wafting through Drop City: "the goats bleating to be milked or fed, the single sharp ringing note of a dog surprised by its own hunger, the regular slap of the screen door at the back of the house--and underneath it all, like the soundtrack to a movie, the dull hum of rock and roll leaking out the kitchen windows." Truly American in spirit, Drop City is a strong novel of freedom and those in pursuit of lives of liberty. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This same issue - the messy conjoining of irony and sincerity - affects much of T.C. Boyle's fiction. Boyle is probably the most talented of the Boomer-generation fiction writers. He can do novels of epic sweep as well as pointillistic short stories. He's a fiendishly imaginative plotter, a supple stylist, and can assemble big casts of eye-catching characters. And he's laugh- out-loud funny. Boyle is also the most frustrating writer of his generation because he uses all this talent for the ironic take, the quick score, the easy laugh. Capable of being our Dickens or Balzac, the writer who defines his time, he mostly settles for being a deft satirist.
Which brings us to Drop City. The plot is straightforward enough. A group of hippies wear out their welcome in Sonoma County, California. Their leader, the quasi-charismatic Norm, owns some land in Alaska his uncle left to him. The hippie cavalcade moves north, where their goofy communal hedonism smacks up against the harsh realties of life in the Alaskan bush. The counterpoint to the hippies is a young trapper, Sess Harder, and his new wife Pamela. Sess and Pamela befriend the hippies, and the lives of the hippies and the locals mingle with some comic and some tragic results.
There are easy targets here, and Boyle hits them without overly straining himself.Read more ›
As others have noted about Drop City, Boyle's talent shines, but he's capable of much more. I do find that his ironic style has in recent work subsided a bit, giving way to measured compassion in his stories, such as many of those in After the Plague. One of the stories in that collection dealt with a serial test of potential mates in Alaska, which may be the origin of what here is the Sess and Pamela plot.
[...]. His love of boastful fakes and the ensuing macho punchouts continues here as in his other fiction, but it does get tedious even if he's good at it. I have taught his story "Greasy Lake" to college students, and much as I enjoy his bravura narrative in small doses, it can become "testiduneous"(to use a word from GL I found again in DC) over the long haul.
The two brawling contingents, hippie "grasshoppers" and sourdough "ants," do not even meet until the 280's in pagination. Lots of exposition precedes, often the most interesting feature of Boyle's writing being the details: how a commune tries to feed the folks, how you trap wolves, what a dark winter feels like in Alaska, how hippies need foodstamps and welfare to "live off the land.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm and ex-hippie and I found this book boring, and I really disliked the characters.Published 3 months ago by Arctic Moon Beam
Long, wild story with some memorable characters. As always, written without judgment of the many human frailties portrayed.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
good read, Boyle writes great characters and can turn a sentence, I'm glad I took the time to read this one.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really enjoyed the book. Held my interest up to the last word. Hope for a sequel just as gripping. A no. 1Published 9 months ago by Al
An other great tale by TC Boyle about a group of hippie's forced off their land in California who end up moving to Alaska. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very rich and interesting, as always with this writer excellent character depiction. An exciting read, funny and tragic and .....I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Angela G