The Inner Circle"/>
 

Tooth and Claw

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Author
T. Coraghessan Boyle, Author . Viking $25.95 (284p) ISBN 978-0-670-03435-2
Reviewed on: 06/27/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-7475-8296-0
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-14-303743-9
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-7001-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-20119-0
Hardcover - 284 pages - 978-0-7475-8083-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-7002-7
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-7475-8145-1
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The threat of imminent demise—whether self-inflicted or from an ungentle Mother Nature—hovers in Boyle's seventh collection (after the novel The Inner Circle ). Ravenous alligators make a memorable cameo in "Jubilation," in which a divorced man seeking community and stability moves into a "model" town erected in a Florida theme park (think Disney's Celebration), only to find that benign surfaces conceal dangerous depths. This theme of civilization versus wilderness also underpins the weird and wonderful "Dogology," in which a young woman's frustration with the accoutrements of the human world compels her to run—on all fours—with a pack of neighborhood dogs. "Here Comes"—one of the collection's more realistic pieces—describes the anxious circumstances of a suddenly homeless alcoholic poised to slip through the cracks for good in a Southern California town. Substance abuse figures again in "Up Against the Wall," about a young man seduced by a dissolute new crowd, while his parents' marital discord and the Vietnam War tug at the edges of his drugged-out awareness. The wired rhythm of Boyle's prose and the enormity of his imagination make this collection irresistible; with it he continues to shore up his place as one of the most distinctive, funniest—and finest—writers around. (On sale Sept. 12)

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