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The Human Fly and Other Stories

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3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  326 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The inimitable voice of New York Times bestselling author T.C. Boyle speaks to a brand-new audience in this anthology of his classic, richly imagined short fiction about teenagers. Includes the previously uncollected story, Almost Shooting an Elephant.
Library Binding, 179 pages
Published September 8th 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published 2001)
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Chris
Dec 03, 2007 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When T. C. Boyle wants to write a brilliant story, he can write a brilliant story. "Greasy Lake" and "Rara Avis" are top-shelf, knock-out stories--brilliantly conceived and constructed--full-blown LITERATURE. More often than not though, Boyle doesn't set his sights so high. Usually, he's just having fun, scratching out stories about Lassie, about a 56-0 drubbing on the football field, about eating champions and daredevils, even a clownish parody/homage about a drunken revel with Kerouac, Ginsber ...more
Shannon
Dec 02, 2007 Shannon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: weird-o's
Shelves: own
I've only a few of the stories so far. But I want to talk about each story individually. So prepare for a long, annoying review.

The Human Fly- Kind of cute, kind of funny, kind of sad. I liked it.

The Champ - Probably the only story I've ever read about a competitive eating competition. Boyle clearly wanted to poke fun at/make an omage to wresting/Muhammad Ali. It was.. silly. Didn't really care for it.

The Hit Man- This is about The Hit Man at various stages in his life. (Best line "The Hit man
...more
Mark
Apr 02, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group of thirteen short stories that seemed to be unified by a common theme of violence. In each story somebody acts violently or is the recipient of some violence. Some of the violence is man vs man, some is man vs nature, and some is man vs himself. The violence is not graphic, however. These are representative of some of his earlier works, and each bears Boyle's signature twisted view of the world. Several have rudimentary ecological references that figure in at least one of his later, full ...more
H. Anne Stoj
May 07, 2011 H. Anne Stoj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The more I read T.C. Boyle's work, the more I enjoy his style, his language, and just everything about his work. I found all of the stories marvelously done. The only one that dragged for me was 56-0, but I think it's mainly because I understand football as much as I understand bioengineering. There wasn't anything wrong with the story itself. I just didn't have a place to connect. The other stories, though, I did. Definitely an enjoyable collection for those who like his work and a nice introdu ...more
Mike
Feb 24, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like short stories, T.C. Boyle is your man. HIs stories are quirky, funny, tragic and worthwhile.
Jennifer Campaniolo
My husband found this on the bargain rack at the Brookline Booksmith (the one outside where all the books are $1). I love T.C. Boyle but I wasn't sure I'd like this one because of the weird Sci-Fi drawing of the human fly in the title. I thought it might be a little too out there for me. And the first couple of stories were. But there were also some real gems that kept me thinking about them and that even managed to appear in my dreams. I'm talking about "Rara Avis" with it's haunting last line, ...more
Jennifer
Apr 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From reading this anthology of short stories, I decided that Boyle is completely overrated. However, my opinion could change if I ever get around to reading anything else that's he written. His writing is good, but the content is pretty unoriginal. Of all of the unoriginal stories, though, I enjoyed the cover story and another one about a college student who has to deal with an absentee famous writer father. That one was worth reading. Otherwise, I was rolling my eyes a lot.
Nan
Mar 01, 2010 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boyle's novels can be too much for me, too much of too much, too satirical, too over the top. These short stories are perfect little gems. They are well-painted, richly imagined, and mostly wonderfully weird. His satire is still everywhere evident, but he doesn't hit you over the head with it. (Okay, maybe he does hit you once or twice, but not very hard or for very long.)
Burton
Aug 15, 2007 Burton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
T.C. Boyle is one of my favorite authors for his high-strung, hyper-active short stories. This is an excellent collection (aimed at high schoolers, but not ONLY for them, I assure you). Some of the best stories contained here are the title story, the now classic Greasy Lake, The Hitman (one of the best stories anywhere, really) and The Champ. All are good though. Highly recommend.
Sidik Fofana
Mar 11, 2008 Sidik Fofana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(six word review #5) phantasmogorical. (there that's six syllables.)
Dara
Jul 28, 2008 Dara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it is Boyle. Great and weird, strange and fantastic. I loved it....
Marissa
Mar 01, 2015 Marissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm failing to see what the TC Boyle hype is about.
Christie
Dec 10, 2008 Christie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just started...it says it is geared towards teenagers but it's just as ironic and dark as tooth and claw so i like it...
Caroline
Mar 31, 2016 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surreal and entertaining book of short stories. They have an almost sci fi feel to them and would be great for someone who likes a bit of fantasy fiction.
Andy
Jun 17, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy the first two stories, but the next eleven were great. Achates McNeil was my favorite.
Isabelle Johnson
Jul 31, 2008 Isabelle Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Usually like this guy, but not this collection. An early one, I think.
Sandra Kohler
Mar 05, 2012 Sandra Kohler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories that are violent, odd, tragic, completely engrossing, and end just abruptly enough to reveal to you how enthralled you really were.
Omar Ahmed
Horrific
sam
Dec 20, 2008 sam is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
"The Love of My Life" won an O. Henry award and is a dark, sad story I remember years later.
Rick
Aug 24, 2013 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Repackaged gift of T.C short stories spanning thirty years.
Colleen
I didn't really get these stories. They were really bizarre.
Jessica
Jessica rated it it was ok
Dec 29, 2014
Nicholas
Nicholas rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
Liza
Liza rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2008
Sarah Scheld
Sarah Scheld rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2011
Rick
Rick rated it really liked it
May 07, 2012
Jesse-Valentine
Jesse-Valentine rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2009
Keke
Keke rated it it was ok
Aug 15, 2008
Kaelie
Kaelie rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2012
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T. Coraghessan Boyle (also known as T.C. Boyle, born Thomas John Boyle on December 2, 1948) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Since the late 1970s, he has published eleven novels and more than 60 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988 for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York. He is married with three children. Boyle has been a Distinguis ...more
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