Thursday, May 15, 2008

TALK TALK by T. C. Boyle

In Talk Talk, T. C. Boyle juxtaposes the crime du jour, identity theft, with the common literary theme of characters in identity crises. Dana Halter is a deaf woman who is erroneously incarcerated for several days because of the crimes committed by Peck Wilson, a man living a lavish lifestyle under her name. Dana and her boyfriend embark on a cross-country pursuit of Peck, and many adventures ensue. There are tons of unlikely coincidences along the way, but you can't help but enjoy the ride. As is the case with other T. C. Boyle novels, this one has parallel stories that converge. The other story, of course, is about Peck, and he's especially in an identity crisis, having changed names more times than he can remember. Also at stake is Dana and Bridger's relationship, which is being tested by their impetuous decision to risk everything they've achieved in life for revenge. The writing is very indicative of the pace of the novel, especially the first sentence, and I love Boyle's visual effects, such as that of railroad tracks stapling the ground. I think I'm becoming a T. C. Boyle fan. Drop City was a hoot and had a more satisfying conclusion.

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