Annie Proulx writes that “T. C. Boyle, a virtuoso craftsman, is one of the reasons readers do love short stories. . . Among Boyle’s gifts are his roaring intelligence and a curiosity that has led him over the years to develop a masterly range of subjects and locales.”
An excerpt from Wild Child:
In my business, where you put something like forty to forty-five thousand miles a year on your vehicle and the sweet suck of the engine at 3,500 rpm is like another kind of breathing, you can’t afford distractions. Can’t afford to get tired or lazy or lift your eyes from the road to appreciate the way the fog reshapes the palms on Ocean Avenue or the light slips down the flanks of the mountains on that mind-blowing stretch of Highway 1 between Malibu and Oxnard. Get distracted and you could wind up meat. I know that. The truckers know that. But just about everybody else–Honda drivers, especially, and I’m sorry–don’t even know they’re behind the wheel and conscious half the time. I’ve tried to analyze it, I have. They want value, the Honda drivers, value and reliability, but they don’t want to pay for the real deal–German engineering is what I’m talking about here–and yet they still seem to think they’re part of some secret society that allows them to cut people off at will, to take advantage because they’re so in the know. So hip. So Honda. And yes, I carry a gun, a Glock 9 I keep in a special compartment I had built into the leather panel of the driver’s side door, but that doesn’t mean I want to use it. Or would use it again. Except in extremis.