Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of Drop City by T.C. Boyle

Drop City

by T.C. Boyle

Drop City by T.C. Boyle X
Drop City by T.C. Boyle
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2003, 464 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2004, 512 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which T.C. Boyle is justly famous, this is a surprisingly rich, allusive, and non-sentimental look at the ideals of the 60's generation and their impact on today's radically transformed world.

A brilliant and vividly rendered tale of ordinary people in the throes of idealism, passion, and sub-Arctic temperatures at a moment when our world changed forever.

T.C. Boyle has proven himself to be a master storyteller who can do just about anything. But even his most ardent admirers may be caught off guard by his ninth novel, for Boyle has delivered something completely unexpected: a serious and richly rewarding character study that is his most accomplished and deeply satisfying work to date.

It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune has decided to relocate to the last frontier—the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska—in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. The novel opposes two groups of characters: Sess Harder, his wife Pamela, and other young Alaskans who are already homesteading in the wilderness and the brothers and sisters of Drop City, who, despite their devotion to peace, free love, and the simple life, find their commune riven by tensions. As these two communities collide, their alliances shift and unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head.

Drop City is not a satire or a nostalgic look at the sixties, though its evocation of the period is presented with a truth and clarity that no book on that era has achieved. This is a surprising book, a rich, allusive, and nonsentimental look at the ideals of a generation and their impact on today's radically transformed world. Above all, it is a novel infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which T.C. Boyle is justly famous.

Chapter 1

The morning was a fish in a net, glistening and wriggling at the dead black border of her consciousness, but she'd never caught a fish in a net or on a hook either, so she couldn't really say if or how or why. The morning was a fish in a net. That was what she told herself over and over, making a little chant of it-a mantra-as she decapitated weeds with the guillotine of her hoe, milked the slit-eyed goats and sat down to somebody's idea of porridge in the big drafty meeting room, where sixty shimmering communicants sucked at spoons and worked their jaws.

Outside was the California sun, making a statement in the dust and saying something like ten o'clock or ten-thirty to the outbuildings and the trees. There were voices all around her, laughter, morning pleasantries and animadversions, but she was floating sail and just opened up a million-kilowatt smile and took her ceramic bowl with the nuts and seeds and raisins and the dollop of pasty oatmeal ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Boston Globe
Boyle may be the most entertaining writer in America.

Newsweek
America's most imaginative contemporary novelist.

The New York Times
On of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation.

Book Magazine - James Schiff
Though some may find the blend of realism and naturalism too conventional for a novel about free love and communes, Boyle, always a skilled and generous storyteller, offers a stream of adventures, surprises and rewards.

Kirkus Reviews
Probably the fullest picture of the hippie culture of the late '60s since Marge Piercy's early fiction, and one of Boyle's best.

Library Journal
Boyle captures the drop-out-and-get-back-to-the-land spirit of the era, as well as the chill and isolation of the Alaska winter, with a clarity that has earned him a reputation as one of our best writers. Highly recommended.

Booklist - Donna Seaman
An accomplished, versatile storyteller and discerning social observer, Boyle writes with enthralling momentum and seductive detail, avidly describing everything from California sunshine to the northern lights, psychedelicly altered states to the cramped interior of an Alaskan cabin. But for all its glorious physicality and riveting action, this is a frank and penetrating critique of a naive but courageous time, a stinging indictment of machismo and a paean to womanhood, and an unabashed celebration of true love and liberty.

Publishers Weekly
Even readers who were alienated by the didactic streak of novels like A Friend of the Earth will be won over by Boyle's latest, arguably his best since East Is East.

Reader Reviews

Kadappa

It book is very Everage
This book is very good and interesting I loved this book.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Drop City, try these:

  • The Irresistible Henry House jacket

    The Irresistible Henry House

    by Lisa Grunwald

    Published 2011

    About this book

    More by this author

    Filled with unforgettable characters, settings, and action, The Irresistible Henry House portrays the cultural tumult of the mid-twentieth century even as it explores the inner tumult of a young man trying to transcend a damaged childhood.

  • Miracles, Inc. jacket

    Miracles, Inc.

    by T. J. Forrester

    Published 2011

    About this book

    Vernon L. Oliver, still a young man, is waiting for the death penalty. When his attorney suggests he write an autobiography to generate funds to cover legal fees incurred during the appeals process, Vernon sits down to pencil and paper and begins his narrative.

We have 7 read-alikes for Drop City, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by T.C. Boyle
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Last Murder at the End of the World
    The Last Murder at the End of the World
    by Stuart Turton
    The island is the only safe place left on Earth. Since a deadly fog overtook the planet, the ...
  • Book Jacket
    A Kind of Madness
    by Uche Okonkwo
    The word "madness," like many others that can be used to stigmatize mental illness — e.g., "...
  • Book Jacket: Long After We Are Gone
    Long After We Are Gone
    by Terah Shelton Harris
    Terah Shelton Harris's marvelous family drama Long After We Are Gone begins with the death of the ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhibit
    Exhibit
    by R O. Kwon
    Exhibit, R.O. Kwon's sophomore novel (after The Incendiaries, 2018), introduces readers to Jin Han, ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Look on the Bright Side
by Kristan Higgins
From the author of Pack Up the Moon comes a funny, romantic, and moving novel about life's unexpected rewards.
Book Jacket
The Pecan Children
by Quinn Connor
Two sisters deeply tied to their small Southern town fight to break free of the darkness swallowing the land whole.
Win This Book
Win Bright and Tender Dark

Bright and Tender Dark by Joanna Pearson

A beautifully written, wire-taut debut novel about a murder on a college campus and its aftermath twenty years later.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A W in S C

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.