Talk Talk
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Talk Talk

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  3,236 ratings  ·  436 reviews
The bestselling author of The Inner Circle and Drop City returns with a timely new novel about a woman in desperate pursuit of a man who has stolen her identity

The first time Bridger saw Dana she was dancing barefoot, her hair aflame in the red glow of the club, her body throbbing with rhythms and cross-rhythms that only she could hear. He was mesmerized. That night the...more
Published (first published 2006)
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The two protagonists, Dana and Bridger, were thrust into a horrible situation when Dana's identity was stolen, but the pair really didn't handle the problem realistically or well, which was aggravating to read (Bridger phoning the identity thief--and using his own personal cell to do it, no less--never seemed like a good idea to me). On top of this, the antagonist, about whom every other chapter is devoted, is so unrepentantly evil--absolutely no ambiguity there--that I found him just painfully...more
I love TC Boyle, love his richly described worlds, his conflict-ridden rollercoaster plots. This one was definitely worth the headlong plunge, a deaf woman who becomes victim of an identity theft, and the ensuing alternation between her story and that of her lover, a special effects artist who becomes deeply involved in the pursuit of the culprit, and the sociopathic identity thief, another one of Boyle's wonderful narcissist rageaholic antagonists. However, it wasn't a perfect book, in that it...more
Roderick Hart
The title refers to the habit deaf people have of vocalising – often unconsciously, since they cannot hear themselves doing it – while signing. They are communicating in two ways at once, hence ‘Talk Talk’.

The ‘heroine’ of this book, Dana Halter, is deaf. Her identity is stolen by one William ‘Peck’ Wilson, resulting in great trauma for her when she is pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Wilson has a string of violations under the name Dana Halter and she is arrested, remanded in custody,...more
All right, I finally finished this one. About halfway through I realized it had the potential to be a huge stinker, and I'm sorry to say that was borne out. While T.C. Boyle is a very good writer--The Tortilla Curtain is a work of the highest art--what keeps him from being a great one is that he tries to do too much sometimes.

Talk Talk is supposed to be a thriller, Ok? And I'm all right with an author playing around with the conventions of a genre, but only when it's cool and fresh and doesn't...more
The "chase-scene-as-plot-structure" can be an exhausting thing. The chaos, the misunderstandings, the almosts, and coincidences. It can all decompose into a sloppy, cartoonish stink. Racing to finish the book instead of reading and enjoying the tension and feeling the characters' burdens. Typically, I consider this the lazy writing of an author with a to-do list -- a wacky hijinks quota.

"Talk Talk" by TC Boyle is a welcome exception.

It opens with Dana Hartley, a deaf woman who is late for a de...more
The exposition's a bit weak, and that leaves one questioning from the start the reality of a work that is trying to explore how people manufacture their own realities (and then how those realities clash with the realities of others). On that level the thing felt unfinished; the necessary work hadn't been done, but you could see how with a bit more polishing it would have been delicious all the way through.

Whenever I suspended my disbelief for five minutes, a puppet string would be left showing...more
Apr 18, 2009 jo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: linda, simon
Shelves: the-body
i really like the cover of this book. the perfect white teeth, no ridges on the edges, the beautiful red lip. it has nothing to do with the book – the image i mean. or the title. the title has nothing to do with the book either. and you know what? it's a real shame, because i don't know how many good novels there are that depict the deaf experience but, me, i haven't come across any other than this, and t.c. boyle is a great writer who can write intelligently about all sorts of things, but on th...more
I barely broke through the endless number of the pages of this book. Must admit, I skipped the most of the paragraphs of the last hundred something pages. Full of unnecessary details, like how did a waitress looked at her, what he is cooking today, what did they ate, drink or spot through the car window. And none of that didn`t get us closer to the protagonists or the antagonist. They remained distanced, closed, boring and uninteresting. The title of this book should be `Don`t talk, don`t talk`...more
I really enjoyed this book and liked it better than Drop City. It was a quick read and and a page-turner. And thought some might not like the ending, I did.
After hearing Stephen Colbert read Boyle's short story "The Lie" on NPR's program Selected Shorts I decided to follow more of Boyle's work. I liked Talk Talk because the characters were easily relatable. They're real. They remind me of people I know, or could know, and I even got annoyed with them as I could with any good friend. But I still liked them, even when I didn't like how they behaved. Even the antagonist stuck to the gray areas and while I never really rooted for him, it was often hard...more
Edward Bradburn
Does T.C. Boyle ever write a book that isn't simply superb? Unputdownable story of a stolen identity and a mismatched couple with strong undercurrents seething underneath their relationship -- which the oddball turn of events will soon force to the surface.

As to the fact that one of the protagonists is deaf ... I think the characterization of Dana is so strong, that I'm not sure it really *is* about her deafness, really. I mean, there are moments when one appreciates her "otherness" (for me, as...more
Lisabet Sarai
You never know what to expect when you pick up a book by T.C. Boyle. In the case of TALK TALK, I was totally misled by the log line: There's more than one way to take a life. Murder, I thought. However, the triggering event in this novel is not murder, but identity theft.

The victim, Dr. Dana Halter, is a fiercely independent deaf woman who teaches literature, a Type-A personality determined to control her own destiny. When she's stopped for running a red light, the police discover she's wanted...more
Mar 26, 2014 mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like character novels
I read many of the other reviews and will use them for a springboard. This is a character driven novel. There are four main characters, 3 of who are extraordinary, 1 who is average. At different times, I identified with all four to the point of water rising in my eyes. (That's good writing.) It is a novel about the contemporary "The road trip." I love road trips and I identified with that. (That's good writing.) It's a novel about the struggle to be understood and I could identify with that. (Th...more
This is the twentieth book I read on my commute, another modern lit novel, but not a comedy. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to label the type of story this narrative represents (which probably speaks well of the book in and of itself). It's not a coming-of-age story, or an adventure story, or a love story, although it has some minor superficial resemblances to all of those. It's a story wherein non-ordinary things happen to ordinary people, which draws them into conflict, but there's no good way for...more
I'm on a crazy book binge this month. It helps that I didn't go to work due to an ice storm in Tulsa so just lounged around the house in my pajamas all day. This is the tenth novel of Boyle's I've read--counted them, I haven't missed a novel he's done--plus a couple of short story collections. Just on sheer numbers, I don't think I've read more stuff by any other writer. So, I guess you could say he's a favorite of mine.

Talk Talk is kind of different for Boyle. It's a thriller actually. All the...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookmarks Magazine

In his 18th book of fiction, T. C. Boyle wildly impresses some critics (as he often does) but leaves a few critics wanting more. The slick, page-turning plot becomes "sadly undermined by a forced, slap-dash ending that feels as if it had been grafted on at the last minute" (New York Times). That aside, Boyle's first entry in the suspense genre is a welcome addition that showcases his rich characterizations and high-flying prose. In Talk Talk, the ease of assuming a new identity appears frighten

Stephen King recommended book. He said in Entertainment Weekly's column My Top 20 of 2011: "Dana Halter is a schoolteacher with a good life and a handicap (which she refuses to think of as a handicap): She's deaf. Everything changes when she's pulled over after failing to come to a complete halt at a stop sign. Instead of the ticket she expects, she's handcuffed and taken to jail. What follows is a richly written novel of escalating tension and a character study of an amoral identity thief you m...more
Christopher Vano
It was published by Pamela Dorman Books in 2012. Will Traynor has everything. He is intelligent, good looking, a successful business man, athletic, and has a beautiful girlfriend. He was only 33 when he is hit by a motorcycle and his life changes forever. He becomes a quadriplegic as a result of the accident. He is confined to a wheelchair and needs constant care. He requires assistance with everything from eating to bathing to using the bathroom. He can no longer work after the accident so he l...more
Michael Livingston
A compelling enough read but one that never really transcends the genre in the way you can feel the author trying to. The protagonists are frustrating in ways that I imagine were meant to feel realistic, but instead seemed jarring. The idea of exploring the ways in which deaf people experience the world within a thriller was a promising one, but in the end Boyle falls a bit short on both counts. A shame, because it has the kernel of something wonderful in it.
Nice idea, but this was like too many stories where coincidence played too much of a part and it became just unbelievable. The characters were very one-dimensional and I basically slogged through waiting for something to happen or for some reveal as to why this or that... I'm even disinterested in the review. Just left me with nothing in the end.
As TC Boyle describes of his protagonist's novel in progress, this is a very cinematic novel. The details were well chosen but almost seemed more relevant to the set designer. The settings were great - loved the whole California, cross-country, Hudson River scenes - all colorfully described. The action was dynamic. Some of the details of the fight scenes were refreshingly unique, not that I've read all that many fight scenes in novels. The identity theft plot was also a compelling setup for the...more
Kate Burstein
Overall, this is an enjoyable, fast-paced action book. I read it with my book group, so it was a great way to step out of my "typical" genre choice.
On a surface level, I enjoyed this book, but I did have difficulty believing aspects of the storyline which took away from the experiene.
This book is about a deaf gal being a victim of identity theft and trying to reclaim it. I enjoyed the first half of the book but the second half started to drag (at least for me). I was anxiously hurrying to finish it so I didn't enjoy it as much as I did with the first half.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manche Leser meinen, dies sei der schlechteste Boyle, das finde ich gar nicht, dennoch läßt mich dieses Buch zwiegespalten zurück.

Ganz T.C.-untypisch wirft der Autor den Leser sofort direkt in die Geschichte, bereits auf der ersten Seite passiert wesentliches, und das Tempo der Story reisst bis zum Schuss nicht ab. Das ist nicht das typische episch breite Herumgelabere des Autors, und dieser neue Stil hat mich außerordentlich begeistert. Auch das Thema des Romans - Identitätsdiebstahl - ist br...more

Impersonation/Identity theft are themes that have been mostly used in crime/spy fiction. The reason could be that in earlier days it happened only when serious crime and a lot of planning was involved and hence it was something that seemed to happen only in novels and very rarely did we get to hear about it happening in real life to someone we knew. So we never got to know the actual ramifications of the identity theft other than that the affected person caught the perpetrator and brought him be...more
Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle is an animated, vigorously written story about identity theft related in the third person from both the victims' and perpetrator's point of view.

The strongest part of the novel is the opening, wherein Dana, who is deaf, finds herself not only abused by her cynical victimizer--let's call him Peck, his real nickname--but also thrown in jail, subjected to the indignities of a three-day incarceration and subsequently fired from her job as a teacher in a place called San Roque...more
S Pat
First let me start off by saying that I loved, loved, loved Drop City. It was such an amazing book. This book started off no differently... in fact, I'm noticing a trend in his books where the narrative shifts from character to character (granted, this is the second book I've read) ... I like that, I can experience what each character is feeling. It gives the sense of multiple stories within a story. However, after the beginning, I found myself wanting to skip over Dana's narrative... she became...more
Jenny Shank

T.C. Boyle's identity crisis
Personal-information theft sparks character's quest for revenge
Jenny Shank, Special to the News
Published July 7, 2006 at midnight

Over his career, T.C. Boyle has earned a number of distinctions - including regular publication in The New Yorker, a PEN/Faulkner Award and a nomination for a National Book Award - that would qualify him as a member of what Oprah-basher Jonathan Franzen so endearingly termed the "high-art literary trad...more
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promise it gets better? 6 64 Mar 14, 2013 10:13AM  
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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
More about T.C. Boyle...
The Tortilla Curtain Drop City The Women The Road to Wellville The Inner Circle

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