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Tooth and Claw...and Other Stories Paperback – June 27, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Thirteen of these fourteen stories will open up your sinuses.Read more ›
Five of the fourteen stories are set in bars. They feature precariously-balanced young men being swept toward the realization that something has to give or change. Boyle shares this space with Richard Bausch, another fine short story writer. If Bausch's stories have the fiery burn of raw pulque, Boyle's go down like high grade tequila: the kick comes later. Given his storytelling skills, one suspects that Boyle could spin out guy-in-bar tales as effortlessly and endlessly as a spider can drop silk filaments from its abdomen.
His comic gifts are on display in Swept Away, a roistering tale of the affair between a visiting ornithologist and a local farmer on a bleak Scottish isle, and the satirical subset of those gifts is evident in Jubilation, which chronicles the natural disasters that befall a man trying to start a new life in a housing development built by a theme park company. Dogology, about a woman who wants to be one with the animal kingdom, and The Kind Assassin, about a drive-time DJ's attempt to set the record for going without sleep, show Boyle turning intriguing concepts into stories peopled by characters who engage our feelings.
Several of the stories revolve around nature. The Doubtfulness of Water takes us on an adventurous journey from Boston to New York in the year 1702. Tooth and Claw, a combo bar and animal story, gives us a lost young man trying to cope with a feral pet.Read more ›
I liken each of his stories to a wonderful meal cooked by the hands of a professional chef. The first paragraphs of his stories, much like a carefully selected appetizer, will draw the reader in, allowing them to sample the foibles or eccentricities of the main characters and give them a tantalizing taste of the filling and ultimately satisfying course to come. Boyle picks his words carefully and -- like spices -- uses them to enhance but not overwhelm. The ending of the story comes quickly, like any good dessert should, finishing off the arc with a succulent twist or a thoroughly satisfying conclusion that will inevitably bring out a smile.
Boyle's stories are properly paced, much like a good meal is portioned to satisfy without stuffing. Each one can be read during a lunch break or before bed, and they are never drawn out or boring. Each story will satisfy the reader while tempting him or her to come back for more.
If you enjoy reading, then this book belongs on your shelf along with Boyle's other great works.
I particularly liked the account of a journey from Boston to New York in 1702 by a middle aged widow who is not particularly brave or resourceful.
Boyle also is quite capable of prose like "it was a dark and stormy night", and metaphors that don't really help, but he does this kind of thing almost tongue in cheek, or maybe I am imagining that. He also sent me to the dictionary a number of times, with words that turned out to be entirely appropriate.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read every one of T C Boyle's books. Some, like Drop City, I couldn't put down. I won't mention one I did not think came up to his extremely high standards. Read morePublished 15 months ago by S I P
Over his long and awesomely prolific literary career T.C. Boyle has done the near impossible: he has never disappointed. Read morePublished 18 months ago by A. Nieradka
He's such a great writer ... I'm a fan ... not his best though. Book came in acceptable shape.Published 21 months ago by Alexandra S
I'm glad that this was my first introduction to the creativity of Boyle. The stories are clever and I love the interconnected themes of nature!Published on May 31, 2014 by Theresa
I used to have this one in uh library and I let it go- one must purge if you live humbly.
I'll buy it again or borrow it from the library. Read more
This is one of the most amazing volumes of stories ever put together, AND, I say this not to talk some literary mumbo-jumbo, not to dazzle the reader with what a swell guy I am,... Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Fergus Kennedy
T.C. Boyle is a master of short fiction, and his novels can
also be outstanding ("Drop City" is probably the book to
read, even if you never open anything else by him). Read more
I can't believe it took me so long to discover Boyle. His prose is entertaining, even if by some chance the story doesn't grab you. There's a lot of variety here. Read morePublished on September 21, 2008 by MJS