Chris Gager's Reviews > Tortilla Curtain

Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
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's review
Apr 29, 2011

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Read in April, 2011

I love TC Boyle even though I don't think he's a great "stylist". His work is consistently interesting, particularly his stuff about SoCal. This is such a book. Echoes of "American Beauty" and "Crash". Pretty prose and realistic/believable dialogue are not his strong points but his characters are generally interesting and recognizable and the narratives are particularly involving and pithy. This was my third novel "read" and I've done a story collection or two. In this book(not one of his best) the characters seem kind of stereotypical. The angry/fearful wealthy white-flighters and the tenacious if somewhat clueless illegals. He visits a plague of mishaps and disasters on both families until it all seems like just a bit overdone. I could see the final one coming a mile away. Also, would Delaney really be so insensitive to the plight of Mexicans? Would he lose his progressive ethics to fear and resentment so readily? A bit of a stretch I thought but I've never lived in LA. His neighbors were the future Tea Partiers to come.

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