Tim's Reviews > The Women

The Women by T.C. Boyle
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's review
Dec 31, 2011

really liked it
Read from February 18 to 28, 2012

Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Frank Lloyd Wright other than admiring his Falling Waters house in Pennsylvania, and the large overhangs associated with his Prairie style. Now I know much more about the famous architect, and not so sure that is a good thing!

A fascinating book nonetheless. The chaos of Wright's personal life - mistresses, divorce, scandal, violence - intertwined with the force of his professional talent, if not genius, and obsession with architecture. As the backcover of the book puts it, "Is it easy to live with a genius?"

The story actually follows four women who were in love or lovers of the man, some at the same time - no ending of the prior or beginning of the next relationship seemed particularly tidy - so the ideas of marriage, norms, and "bargains" men and women make comprise the core themes of the novel.

A novel?? I would have no idea what to sort out as truth from imagination, they are so seamlessly brought together.

This brings me to the author - TC Boyle. It is a delight to find oneself reading a book whose author has a vocabulary 3,4,5 times ones own, and knows how to wield it. From start to finish, it was enjoyable to read one description after another with a repeated use of fresh, precise words. Words that were just so much better than the predictable adequate ones I would have found acceptable.

In fact, Mr Boyle's writing skill rates an enthusiastic 5, its just that the story itself is tortuous in several ways, which left me slightly exhausted by the end.
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