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Wild Child and Other Stories

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,543 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
A superb new collection from "a writer who can take you anywhere" (The New York Times)

In the title story of this rich new collection, T.C. Boyle has created so vivid and original a retelling of the story of Victor, the feral boy who was captured running naked through the forests of Napoleonic France, that it becomes not just new but definitive: yes, this is how it must
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 21st 2010 by Viking (first published December 22nd 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,981)
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Rebecca Foster
Each story in Wild Child is assured, in-your-face, and perfectly executed; Boyle is a master of the genre. The stories are so deep and insightful that I could imagine any one of them being extended into a full-length, absorbing novel. His themes seem peculiarly contemporary and American – very much of their place and time, but not as if that is a limitation. With the exception of two stories, this is California incarnate: immigrants, people of Asian and Latino descent, sushi, coastal and island ...more
Aug 25, 2012 Bastet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
El egoísmo del ser humano no tiene límites cuando su único anhelo es el reconocimiento y la adulación. Paradójicamente, lo que hacen con el niño asilvestrado es inhumano, por mucho que sus sucesivos tutores (un tintorero, un comisionado, dos abades y un médico) aseguren que lo están humanizando: lo encierran en un armario cuando ellos consideran que se ha comportado mal, a veces sin ningún motivo; lo cuelgan de los tobillos a cinco pisos de altura para que escarmiente; no le dejan aliviarse sexu ...more
Aug 29, 2011 A.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to A.M. by: Maura
This is my first taste of TC Boyle's writing and I have to admit to being impressed by his style, his unusual imagery and turns of phrase that capture the imagination.

It's difficult to sum up an anthology containing so many short stories (14, to be precise, each fairly lengthy), but many of these contain vivid, very human and ultimately flawed characters -- there is a sense of disillusion, loneliness, and of the compromises we make with ourselves in order to find some sort of love or companionsh
Oct 30, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Beth by: The New Yorker
Shelves: library-book
This collection of stories deftly tackles the main literary conflicts in such a brilliant way (man v man, society, self, and nature). Boyle's style is always on the mark and oftentimes deadpan funny. Though I wasn't happy with how some of the individual stories ended, the final story, Wild Child, nearly took my breath away in how it surprisingly pulled the entire collection together. If I were still teaching HS English, I would want to assign this, though there are some sex scenes that might not ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Vee41dmb rated it it was ok
Not sure what I expected. The stories were OK, as in they kept me reading.
However, nothing really pulled me in. The exception was the Wild Child, which of course was at the end of the book. Wild Child was moving and well written.
I bought this book in the discount books section and thought I'd give it a try, because the name and the subject sounded like something that would grab me and lure me in. It did not. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't great. It was OK.
I don't think I'll be going out of my way
Lacey N.
Aug 29, 2009 Lacey N. rated it it was amazing
Yes, it's absolutely true: T.C. Boyle is a master of the short story. In "Balto," a young girl is asked to lie in court for her alcoholic father, even as she matures into her own, powerful self; in "Sin Dolor," a young boy living in squalor marvels a community--including its detached doctor--by his absence of feeling physical pain; in "Anacapa," the only story not previously anthologized, the narrator discovers what he most needs even as he fades away. The title story, "Wild Child," is more a no ...more
Michael DelMuro
Jul 27, 2010 Michael DelMuro rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
Wild Child is not TC Boyle's best collection of short fiction. Far too often, the stories seemed unsatisfying. I'm not talking about the quality--the writing is superb--rather the feeling of completeness that stories in some of his other collections possessed.

That said, Wild Child possesses some gems, specifically "Balto," a story about a child whose father asks her to lie for him in court. "La Conchita," which is about an organ delivery man forced to play hero during a horrific mudslide is exc
May 12, 2011 J rated it did not like it
ugh. i just don't like short story collections. i keep trying, but no. it's like me and radiohead. i will admit, however, that i started reading this under false assumptions (that this was a. a classic and b. semi-autobiographical of the author's childhood), but i pretty quickly amended my expectations. still, i just didn't like it. i can't even explain myself. i won't think less of anyone who does like this book, but i really disliked it.
Jun 12, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wild Child is T.C. Boyle's latest collection of short stories. The majority of these stories are about the chaos that nature injects in everyday, orderly life and how that chaos changes people. Mudslides, escaped tigers, thousands of rats, and feral boys all rampage across these pages challenging people and changing them. There is a tinge of magical realism in some of the stories, plenty of tragedy, and even a sprinkling of hope.

What struck me most about these stories was how often I wanted more
May 13, 2013 Sridhar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Until I read T C Boyle, I don't think I had encountered another fiction writer who takes a sensitive consciousness of nature, ecology, and environment, and blends it intricately with an understanding of people and of humanity. His stories are well written, well told, too (as I heard him read 'The Lie', a story in this book). As a fiction writer, Boyle deftly uses stories to explore human dimensions of environmental issues and activism, by going into the lives of activists as well as the people t ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Cdrueallen rated it it was amazing
The stories in WILD CHILD confirmed my suspicion that T.C. Boyle is the most interesting fiction writer working in the U.S. today. I won't say North America, as Canada has Atwood and Munro, but Boyle is clearly in their all-star league. He wasn't always one of my favorites. His earlier stories were too white and male for me. But he steadily widened his point of view and improved his always impressive technical abilities until he was able to produce what I consider one of the finest novels of the ...more
Lars Guthrie
Nov 14, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it
In one of those weird confluences of coincidences, I was traveling west on the Pacific Coast Highway with my mother and father and sister towards Santa Barbara (home of T.C. Boyle). At La Conchita, traffic suddenly jammed up, and we just squeezed past a serious accident, a small pickup loaded with white sacks of something soft, now scattered across the highway, its cab flattened nearly below the load bed, an SUV turned toward oncoming cars, horn blaring, onlookers rushing to help, already talkin ...more
Micayla Eddy
Mar 24, 2016 Micayla Eddy rated it it was ok
Shelves: rekindled
I was not familiar with Boyle prior to reading "Wild Child." I enjoyed his writing style, very eloquent and most of the time it worked to keep me immersed in the story at hand. That being said, I felt only a few of the stories in this novel really captured my attention. "Balto" notably being one of those. Otherwise, it was more background noise for me and I lost interest quickly.
Lynn Pribus
Downloaded from library and it is NOT Wild Child and Other Stories. Just Wild Child. Interesting enough and ultimately very sad about a French boy about 5 y.o. in the 1700s who is taken to a woods by his mother (who just had too many children). She cuts his throat, but not fatally and he survives as a feral child until he is captured when he is about 12.

Some people try hard to tame and educate him, but learn that certain aspects of humanity must be mastered by an early age or the maturing brain
Jenny Shank
Sep 11, 2015 Jenny Shank rated it really liked it
Published in the Boulder Daily Camera, February 7, 2010

"We're doomed, not only as writers and readers, but as a species," the inventive and versatile fiction writer T.C. Boyle said in a phone interview from California in advance of his visit to the Boulder Book Store on Tuesday. Boyle is on tour for his ninth collection of short stories, "Wild Child," and the paperback edition of his twelfth novel, "The Women," a reimagining of the life of architect Frank Lloyd through the stories of the women h
Jun 22, 2014 A-ron rated it liked it
I've always been a big fan of TC Boyle's short stories and this collection contains some excellent writing. The lead story, "Balto" was breathtaking in its skill. Other writers may have chosen the father for the protagonist, making it simply a story of drunken mistakes, but by putting the climax in the hands of the daughter, it gave it a whole new dimension and stands as one of the best stories I've read. The next story, "La Conchita" (in concert with "Ash Monday") explores the dangers of living ...more
Sep 27, 2014 orsodimondo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
È storia nota quella che in questa edizione italiana viene spacciata come romanzo breve: si tratta della vera vicenda di Victor, il ragazzo selvaggio dell’Aveyron (regione di grandi formaggi, non altrettanto di vini - ma al vino le foreste dell’Aveyron forniscono il legno per le botti), che negli anni della Rivoluzione Francese cresce nei boschi dopo esservi stato abbandonato da sua madre all’età di cinque anni (ultimo di tredici figli – la madre gli taglia la gola, ma non ha
Aug 05, 2011 Lois rated it it was amazing
T.C.Boyle is a master of the short story with an incredible variety of characters, locales, plots. Satisfying in every way, especially the unforgettable title story.
Matt Graupman
Aug 16, 2014 Matt Graupman rated it really liked it
T.C. Boyle is a writer capable of working in any style, time period, perspective, and length. "Wild Child" is a rich collection of short stories, each one surprising and entirely deserving of being expanded upon. I can't recall ever reading another book of short stories that were so varied yet still felt like a cohesive work. Boyle is immensely talented.

"Sin Dollar" - A small-town doctor befriends a poverty-stricken young boy who is blessed and cursed with the inability to feel physica
Jan 05, 2011 Sherri rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, audio
I really liked the audio version-- read by T.C. Boyle himself. Short fiction is the way to go for me with audio because it is broken up into parts so that you don't burnt out on a long novel. The novella Wild Child was one of my favorites in this collection. It makes me want to read or listen to more historical fiction by Boyle. Maybe I'll try The Women or the soon to be released When the Killings Done.

The first story, "Balto" seems like a perfect Junior Honors English research story (young tee
Nov 05, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
My first read of anything by T. C. Boyle and I liked it. Unfortunately my library copy only had the title novella and there were no other accompanying short stories. It would have been good to have other stories to balance the feel of this particular story.

I was put in mind a little of the story of - The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser - in that the reader is introduced to a feral child with no language, no education, no self-awareness, no shame, no family, and so on. The story - based on the early 19th
May 18, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2011 Cameron rated it really liked it
In my opinion, T. Coraghessan Boyle is a genius who will remain popular and well-known for many decades to come. He is exceptionally skillful at both language and characterization and can describe a scene so precisely and with such vivid language that seeing it yourself would be less exciting. He knows how to weave light and shadow, smells and noises, and even motion together with a person's internal psychochemistry to put the reader into the middle of the story. My favorites among his books inc ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 20, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
A new TC Boyle short story book is a literary event and Boyle's latest short story collection is like his other collections - that is, it is nothing short of brilliant. He is the best short story writer alive at the moment and "Wild Child" cements his reputation for crafting well written stories that draw you into the characters' strange worlds and have you wanting more.

The best story here is a short novella called "Wild Child" about a young boy found hiding in the woods in 18th century France,
Jesse Field
It was on the New Yorker Fiction Podcast that I first heard Boyle's voice, reading Tobias' Wolff's story "Bullet in the Brain." Boyle has just the voice to explain how conventional characters behave in desperate situations -- there's a sort of forced lightness, alternately funny and then very much not. (Tobias Wolff actually has a similar voice, which is no coincidence, I think.) So when I saw that Wild Child was available as downloadable audio, with the author himself reading, I just had to giv ...more
Brad Hodges
Dec 19, 2011 Brad Hodges rated it liked it
I'm a long time admirer of the short stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle (not so much of his novels). They frequently pop up in periodicals I read, such as The New Yorker and Playboy, and have a mordant sense of humor I respond to. His stories are all what I would consider "high concept," in that they are heavily plotted and center around a vividly expressed idea. His latest collection, Wild Child, contains some of that, but many of these works are more ambitious than his usual "ripped from the head ...more
Thomas Holbrook
Jul 19, 2013 Thomas Holbrook rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Reading short fiction, when it is GOOD short fiction, is akin to reading a novel in a few pages. The author must use fewer words to quickly: draw the reader into an unfamiliar world, connect them sufficiently with strangers so that what happens to those strangers “matters” to the reader and set a pace that flows without being rushed. After reading a well-written short story, I find it best to but the book aside for a bit and savor what I have just experienced/read. Based upon this book, T. C. B ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Judi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished "reading" the audio version of Wild Child by T.C. Boyle. T.C. Boyle was the narrator. What could be better? I am a fan of his novels, but this is my first experience with his short stories. A very diverse collection. I could elaborate on each story, but one story spooked me. I could relate to it on a very personal level. That story is titled Ash Monday. A kid (young teen)and his single working mom live in a house up in one of the local canyons. The San Gabriel Valley works in my mi ...more
Richard Barager
Apr 30, 2011 Richard Barager rated it it was amazing
Rather than give a general review of the entire collection, I will instead review a single story from this work--a moving piece called "Sin Dolor" (Without Pain)--the tenor and quality of which is representative of the entire group.

T. C. Boyle is a luminary of American literature, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Distinguished Professor of English at USC. In 2009 he was inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters, considered the highest formal recognition o
Jung Kang
Dec 21, 2012 Jung Kang rated it really liked it
No I have not read Drop City, TC Boyle’s big hit thanks to Oprah’s Book Club mention.

But T.C. Boyle is a great storyteller and even more so when you listen to his audiobooks (all read by the author himself. I really appreciate audiobooks read by the author. It just seems so much more intimate that way.)

Snippets of short stories which took a bit for me to get used to because many of them seemed to lack a punchline sort of ending I was waiting for. Often times, I had to ask, ‘So what happened next
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2016 Reading Chal...: Wild Child and Other Stories by TC Boyle 1 13 Feb 27, 2015 06:04PM  
Questions for T.C. Boyle 2 51 Jan 13, 2010 07:24PM  
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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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“War der Mensch bei seiner Geburt eine tabula rasa, ungeformt und ohne Ideen, bereit, von der Gesellschaft beschrieben zu werden, erziehbar und imstande, auf dem Weg zur Vervollkommnung voranzuschreiten? Oder stellte die Gesellschaft, wie Rousseau behauptete, einen verderblichen Einfluss dar und nicht das Fundament alles Richtigen und Guten?” 2 likes
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