Customer Review

52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excess Melodrama, May 21, 2004
This review is from: The Tortilla Curtain (Paperback)
I'm a T.C. Boyle fan, in that I've read several of his books and tend to enjoy them enough to read another. Tortilla Curtain is the latest I've read, and I unfortunately enjoyed it the least. Boyle is a fun and interesting storyteller, and I enjoyed the first 100 pages or so, feeling it was fairly typical T.C. Boyle. After another 50 pages or so I came to realize that the theme (White, prosperous Americans "bad," innocent, poor, Mexican illegals "good") was not going to develop further. The rest of the book began to feel like trudging through a muddy swamp. The insights the book offered early on eventually turned into a large piece of rhetorical lumber with which the reader is incessantly beaten over the head. The fun, quirky, insightful potential that initially draws the reader in evaporates quickly and turns into an amazingly overblown, melodramatic lecture. I can't say I've ever noticed Boyle flirting with this in his other works, and for that I'm glad. Otherwise I would never have continued reading his books. My personal favorite being "East is East."
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 24, 2011 10:57:56 PM PST
M. Hayes says:
I sincerely feel like you missed the entire point of this book. It doesn't show Americans as bad or immigrants as good... It shows them both as flawed, living disparate lives and making their way in the world in which they live. It's a shame you feel these complex issues boil down to such black and white sides.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 3:06:37 PM PDT
The first problem is that the story is so predictable. Halfway in and you know what you are going to get the rest of the way. The second problem is that the main characters are two dimensional.
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