Spike's Reviews > Drop City

Drop City by T.C. Boyle
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Feb 16, 2010

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Read in January, 2010

If this were written by anyone but TC Boyle, I would've given it four stars, however I've come to expect better from Boyle. The basic plot is not overly complex. A hippy commune--Drop City--is chased out of California and decides to reincarnate in Alaska as "Drop City North". Overall, TC does a good job of bringing down the microscope on the whole hippy culture, the good and the bad. There are the innocents, idealistic dreamers, and the hustlers and layabouts who run their game under the guise of being true to the tenets of the culture. There are some fine descriptions of the hippy habitat, communal meals, parties, acid trips, etc. However, the story of Sess Harder and Pam led me down a road that didn't seem to end anywhere. It's a LONG parallel story. I didn't buy Pam's character: why would a total babe like Pam take up with a backwoods misanthrope like Sess? I guessed she was a scout for Drop City, sent to con a lonely man in the Alaska wild--but no, she really falls for the guy. Or so we are told--literally--but I didn't buy it. I also didn't buy how quickly Sess accepts the hippies just upriver from his cabin. From this point, the novel just loses focus, and all the characters karma (good or bad) comes back on them.
Bottom line? A good read, but if you haven't read TC Boyle pick up any book of his short stories, and for a novel "Water Music" was his best.
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