Thursday, October 16, 2003

Just found out that Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle has been nominated for the National Book Award. I'm thrilled that finally this sensational novel is getting some recognition. Of the novels I've read this year, it's definitely in the running for best book of the year.

His metaphors are so richly descriptive--they're intricate and downright Dickensian, which I love. Boyle's vocabulary is prodigious; I wish I'd kept a dictionary by my side as I was reading. I just fell into the world he created and relished every minute spent. All of his characters, even the lesser players, are so well-drawn, with a startling depth. The story? A commune of 1960s hippies in California must abandon their land. They travel en masse to Alaska, to a site deep in the forests of Alaska where they come head to head with several homesteader/ survivalist types. Boyle is the first writer I've come across--of fiction and nonfiction--to accurately evoke the spirit and the "feel" of the late 1960s. Some critics have said that T.C. Boyle satirizes the sixties in this novel; I suppose there is a grain of truth to that. But Drop City is not a satire by any means.

Drop City is a novel for fiction writers to keep on the bookshelf for inspiration on adding enriching details to a narrative.


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