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The BookBrowse Review

Published September 20, 2017

ISSN: 1930-0018

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The BookBrowse Review

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  • Blog:
    6 Books That Help You Talk About Death and End-of-Life Care
  • Notable:
    Recycle Book Club
  • Wordplay:
    Y Can't M A S P O O A S E
  • Book Giveaway:
    If the Creek Don't Rise
  • Quote:
    The only completely consistent people are the dead
Book Jacket

The Relive Box and Other Stories
by T.C. Boyle
3 Oct 2017
272 pages
Publisher: Ecco
ISBN-13: 9780062673398
Critics:
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A raucous collection of short stories from the astonishingly inventive and bestselling writer of The Harder They Come and The Terranauts.

While T. C. Boyle is known as one of our greatest American novelists, he is also an acknowledged master of the short story. In The Relive Box, his first collection following two hugely influential collected volumes, Boyle's crackling wit and thematic range combine with a penetrating social consciousness to produce his trademark "inventive and often crushingly comic" (NPR) short fiction.

From the title story, featuring a so-called relive box that allows users to experience anew almost any moment from their past, to "The Five-Pound Burrito," the tale of a man aiming to build the biggest burrito in town, the twelve stories in this collection represent a whole new way of looking at the world from one of the best storytellers at work today.The Relive Box is an exuberant, linguistically dazzling book from someone the Boston Globe has said is "such a good storyteller it will probably take, as in Alice Munro's case, the Nobel Prize or retirement for us to realize what tremendous talent has lain right in front of our noses."

"Starred Review. Fans and new readers alike will appreciate Boyle's droll humor, eye for detail, and seemingly inexhaustible imagination." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Boyle's substantial collection is funny, disarming, and crushing, haunting and beautiful, as in "Surtsey," a tale of a 16-year-old who defies death and affirms love while a cataclysmic storm surge floods his Arctic home." - Booklist

"Boyle makes the incredible credible through detail, and his narrative voices convincing through rhythm and attitude. He can be funny, touching, or both, as when his characters face aging with characteristically fervent resistance." - Publishers Weekly

Growing up, T. Coraghessan Boyle did not aspire to be a writer. He attended State University of New York as a music student but ended up as a history and English major. He says, "I went there to be a music major but found I really couldn't hack that at the age of 17 .... I just started to read outside my classes -- literature and history. I wound up being a history and English major; when I wandered into a creative writing class as a junior, I realized that writing was what I could do." After college he started teaching, in part to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War, and generally wandered through the next few years of his life - until he published a story in the North American Review and applied to the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop where he studied with John Irving and John Cheever. Five years later he left with an MFA, a Ph.D in 19th century British literature and a job teaching creative writing at USC two days a week.

In an article in Publishers Weekly (June 19 2006) he said, "Art bailed me out ... It sounds corny but there's a power in it that I would never give up. There's a light that fills you when you're writing; there's a magic. I don't know what it is. It's a miracle and it's a rush and immediately on finishing, you want to do it again. It's so utterly thrilling to me it's all I want to do".

He first published a collection of short stories in 1979 (Descent of Man), followed by his first novel, Water Music in 1982. When asked to describe his philosophy on reading and writing he says, "Good literature is a living, brilliant, great thing that speaks to you on an individual and personal level. You're the reader. I think the essence of it is telling a story. It's entertainment. It's not something to be taught in a classroom, necessarily. To be alive and be good, it has to be a good story that grabs you by the nose and doesn't let you go till The End."

In addition to his books, his work regularly appears in major American magazines, including The New Yorker, GQ, The Paris Review, Playboy, and Esquire.

He's been married since 1974 and has three children.

Bibliography

Novels:
Water Music (1982)
Budding Prospects (1984)
World's End (1987)
East Is East (1990)
The Road to Wellville (1993)
The Tortilla Curtain (1995)
Riven Rock (1998)
A Friend of the Earth (2000)
Drop City (2003)
The Inner Circle (2004)
Talk Talk (2006)
The Women (2009)
When the Killing's Done (2011)
The Harder They Come (2015)
The Terranauts (2016)

Short Story collections:
Descent of Man (1979)
Greasy Lake (1985)
If the River Was Whiskey (1989)
Without A Hero (1994)
T.C. Boyle Stories (1998)
After the Plague (2001)
Tooth and Claw (2005)
The Human Fly (2005)
Wild Child and Other Stories (2010)
T.C. Boyle Stories II (2013)

Other books by this author at BookBrowse:

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