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The Human Fly and Other Stories

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  317 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
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.
His many, varied novels are part of the American literary landscape but one of the best ways to appreciate T. C. Boyle is through his richly imagined short fiction. Boyle's kaleidoscopic humor and wit, his keen, unforg
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 8th 2005 by Speak (first published 2001)
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Dec 06, 2007 Chris rated it liked it
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
Dec 06, 2007 Shannon marked it as to-read
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
Apr 04, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it
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
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
May 21, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
If you like short stories, T.C. Boyle is your man. HIs stories are quirky, funny, tragic and worthwhile.
Jennifer Campaniolo
Feb 26, 2012 Jennifer Campaniolo rated it really liked it
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
Apr 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 01, 2010 Nan rated it really liked it
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.)
Aug 15, 2007 Burton rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 23, 2009 Christie rated it it was amazing
just says it is geared towards teenagers but it's just as ironic and dark as tooth and claw so i like it...
Apr 01, 2016 Caroline rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 18, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it
I didn't enjoy the first two stories, but the next eleven were great. Achates McNeil was my favorite.
Sandra Kohler
Apr 21, 2012 Sandra Kohler rated it really liked it
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.
Jessica rated it it was ok
Dec 29, 2014
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Aug 23, 2008
Sarah Scheld
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May 07, 2012
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Aug 31, 2009
Keke rated it it was ok
Sep 11, 2008
Sidik Fofana
Jan 23, 2010 Sidik Fofana rated it it was amazing
(six word review #5) phantasmogorical. (there that's six syllables.)
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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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