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Talk Talk Hardcover – July 6, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award–winner Boyle recasts the battle of good and evil as an identity theft suspense story in his 11th novel (following The Inner Circle). Dana Halter, a "slim, graceful, dark-eyed deaf woman of thirty-three," runs a stop sign and is hauled off to jail when a routine police check turns up multiple pending felony charges. As Dana disappears into the criminal justice system, her earnest and willing boyfriend, Bridger (on deadline doing a sci-fi film's special effects), isn't much help. Meanwhile, William "Peck" Wilson—a social parasite whose lifestyle includes Armani, a house in Marin County and a shopaholic bombshell girlfriend imported from a former Soviet republic—is actually the man behind the charges against Dana. Finally out on bail and reunited with Bridger, Dana lacks the resources to clear her name, but in the best tradition of the good guy willing to sacrifice everything for justice, Bridger chucks his job, and the two set off on Peck's trail. Boyle, always a risk taker, neatly manages the challenge of a deaf protagonist and a bad guy who is a gourmet cook, genuinely loves his bombshell and has a soft spot for children. As Dana and Bridger hurtle across the country and the tension mounts, Boyle drops crumbs of wisdom in signature style, and readers will be hot on the trail. (On sale July 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

In his 18th book of fiction, T. C. Boyle wildly impresses some critics (as he often does) but leaves a few critics wanting more. The slick, page-turning plot becomes "sadly undermined by a forced, slap-dash ending that feels as if it had been grafted on at the last minute" (New York Times). That aside, Boyle's first entry in the suspense genre is a welcome addition that showcases his rich characterizations and high-flying prose. In Talk Talk, the ease of assuming a new identity appears frighteningly simple, while the annoyances of life for the hearing-impaired ring loud and clear.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (July 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670037702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670037704
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With TALK TALK, his eleventh novel, T.C. Boyle has constructed another literate, thoughtful page-turner. The protagonist is Dana Halter, an independent, feisty, attractive woman in her early 30s. She teaches school, enjoys an occasional evening out at loud nightclubs, and has a younger boyfriend named Bridger Martin who adores her. In short, she's a normal, responsible young woman who also happens to be profoundly deaf. The problem is that apparently there's another Dana Halter out there, as she discovers when she's arrested after running a stop sign. This other Dana Halter passes bad checks in multiple states with her driver's license number, her social security number. And this Dana Halter has skipped bail twice. So despite Bridger's best efforts, Dana spends a humiliating, uncomfortable weekend in the San Roque county jail.

"Dana Halter" is only one of the identities that the antagonist Peck Wilson has collected in the years since he was released from prison in New York State. As the book opens, Peck lives as Dr. Dana Halter in a Marin County waterfront condo furnished with nothing but the best for his kitchen (he's a very gourmet sociopath) and his bed (a Russian beauty named Natalia.) He is an old hand at identity theft and manages them carefully, wringing them almost dry before moving on and covering his tracks.

When the real Dana is finally released from jail, she finds that the authorities aren't overly concerned with prosecuting this so-called victimless crime. It's up to her and Bridger to retrieve her impounded car and field phone calls from irate creditors. But Bridger acquires the thief's cell phone number from one such creditor and makes contact.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, let me say that I am a huge fan of T.C. Boyle. This book did not disappoint, and was a real page-turner to boot.

Summary, no spoilers:

Dana Halter is a 33 year old deaf woman who teaches at a school for the deaf. One day, on her way to a dental appointment, Dana drives through a stop sign. She is stopped by the police, and she finds out that the officer thinks she has warrants out for her arrest. She is a victim of identity theft.

The man who stole her identity is named Peck Wilson, and he is a violent con man who has been living high off the hog off of Dana and a few others.

The book follows Dana and her boyfriend Bridger Martin, as they attempt to find Peck Wilson, both to reestablish Dana's good name and make sure this doesn't happen again - and also to seek revenge on him for the havoc and misery he has caused.

This is real page turner, and I can tell you because I was a criminal attorney that the arrest/jail/courtoom scenes described in the beginning of the book are spot on. Getting arrested on a Friday is a Bad Thing - especially if it's all been a terrible mistake.

This book was quick paced and lives up to Boyle's high standards. It is also a very frightening book - because we all realize how we could end up like Dana Halter, and have our own lives turned upside down because of the greed and avarice of someone who would steal our identity. And the book shows us how easily that can be done.


Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Dana Halter is a high school English teacher who is deaf. After being pulled over for running a stop sign, she is unexpectedly arrested and thrown in the slammer for numerous outstanding charges. It becomes clear that she has been a victim of identity theft, and Dana becomes obsessed with tracking down the thief.

Boyle is able to wonderfully combine completely disparate elements: a thrilling chase, the frustrating experience of an independent deaf woman, and the protagonist's love of language and words. Boyle's characters and his narrative are nuanced and deep. He burrows into the head of the criminal, who begins to feel like a victim himself. And Boyle delivers various exciting action climaxes.

However, the chase slows down in the second half of the book, and I found myself anxious to get to the finale, which was unfortunately completely anticlimactic. I enjoyed the narrative enough that I still enjoyed the book overall, but - I repeat - the ending was a real disappointment.

The author himself narrates the unabridged audiobook and does a solidly good job. Metacritic, a website that culls the essence of a broad selection of professional reviews, pulled together 25 such reviews of this book (from Salon to the New York Times Book Review): eight reviewers loved it, eight liked it, six were mixed, and three didn't like it.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the privilege of listening to TC Boyle read the first chapter of Talk Talk at the Barnes and Noble in Lincoln Center on July 10th, and it is the day after my day of reading Talk Talk... Now that I have slept on it I still marvel at TC Boyle's imagination that often seems unlike any others and the carefully orchestrated (even if grown organically) design of each of his creations. His imagination literally pieces together bits of data and observations after pondering a topic. TC Boyle shared with event goers how he 'worries about everything all the time,' and it appears that he might just worry about all kinds of people in all kinds of conditions impaired, sociopathic, aliens, split family members, hard working people who get ripped off... the list seems endless as evidenced in his empathy towards all the characters in Talk Talk. I was drawn to Bridger because he fell for Dana without realizing she was deaf and remained faithfully by her side throughout this tale. This character for me stays true to his name, bridging two worlds with a solid foundation. Similar to a junior high kid, Peck is hellbent on trying on everyone else's identity, in effect stealing the most precious thing we all have...ourselves. In my mind Dana is not the main character, but a supporting cast member to the meat of the story...our senses and how they define who we are at times. Talk...is communication, whether it be oral, or body language Taste...is subjective Hearing...is not always with our ears Seeing...with our eyes and our minds Touch...a brush up against someone can communicate (Talk Talk) volumes
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