Reviews in 200 Words

Wild Child by TC Boyle

In Short Stories on January 27, 2010 at 2:52 am

There’s no arguing with TC Boyle. He gives you exactly what you need: no more, no less. Sometimes you may think you want more, but you don’t. Boyle’s stories are perfectly balanced meals. There’s almost no comparing the amount of control that he has. You know you’d do anything TC Boyle told you to do. You would. And you’d like it. Boyle’s characters struggle, but because they want to–they throw themselves into mudslides to help complete strangers and ruin their clothes to push a truck loose. But they’re not saccharin heroes–they have egos and agendas of their own. In fact, most of these characters are far from heroes–they’re cynical and angry and lazy. They tell dramatic, heartbreaking lies, just to get out of work–just to watch movies or get drunk all day. These characters build to the title story. And Victor proves that at the very core, we are all constantly struggling for some kind of capture and some kind of escape: some dose of nurture and some dose of nature. And all at once, Victor doesn’t seem so far from the middle-aged woman spending thousands on plastic surgery, throwing herself at a man who doesn’t want her. We all have a little crazy in us–a little wild.

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