A Friend of the Earth

A Friend of the Earth

Book - 2000
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T.C. Boyle's range as a novelist is breathtaking; he is the kind of writer who is always setting himself new challenges, who never ceases to astonish. In A Friend of the Earth, "America's most imaginative contemporary novelist" (Newsweek) blends idealism & satire in a story that addresses the ultimate questions of human love & the survival of the species. A Friend of the Earth opens in the year 2025, as Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tierwater ekes out a bleak living in southern California, managing a rock star's private menagerie of the species "only a mother could love"--scruffy hyenas, jackals, warthogs, & three down-at-the-mouth lions. Global warming is a reality. The biosphere has collapsed in a grim but very funny way, & most of the major mammalian species--not to mention fish, birds, & frogs--are extinct. Once, as we see in alternating chapters that flash back to the last two decades of the twentieth century, Ty was so seriously committed to environmental causes that he became an ecoterrorist & convicted felon. As a member of the radical environmental group Earth Forever!, he unwittingly endangered both his daughter, Sierra, & his wife, Andrea. Now, when he's just trying to survive in a world torn by obdurate storms & winnowing drought, Andrea comes back into his life. What happens as the two slip into a reborn involvement makes for a gripping, topical, & ever-surprising story that is certain to stir readers' emotions. Gritty & surreal, frightening yet touching, A Friend of the Earth represents a high-water mark in Boyle's career--his deep streak of social concern is effortlessly blended here with real compassion for his characters & the spirit of sheer exhilarating playfulness readers have come to expect of his work.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2000
ISBN: 9780670891771
Characteristics: 271 p. ; 24 cm


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WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

T. C. Boyle is one of my favorite fiction authors and this is one of his best. A dystopia set in the near-future, this is a darkly humorous eco-novel that tells a non-linear story, alternating between the year 2025 and the narrator’s environmental activism in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. This novel is a compelling satire that doesn’t offer any easy answers. Sure to make you think (and savor that can of tuna and that pint of beer a little more).

Apr 02, 2014

Portents of an eco-terroist hero's future. Fairly well written with a good plot line. I am not sure what the author really is trying to say would be the only flaw. He seems to be mocking the motivations and efforts of main stream environmentalists (the protagonist wife seems to at some points be willing to compromise principles), and saying that violence won't accomplish anything either, and at the same time sounds sympathetic to their cause.I guess the message is that any fight for protecting the environment will lose, so fight the best fight you can with whatever method you prefer.

Apr 13, 2011

I was just thinking about The Road and how I love end of the world books and I thought of this one I read a while back. So great....and with an enviromental message....the constant rain, ugly zoo animals and rice wine!


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