If the River Was Whiskey: 2stories

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Author
T. Coraghessan Boyle, Author Viking Books $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-670-82690-2
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
The pleasure of pure storytelling makes Boyle's new collection of fiction a joy to read. The author ( World's End ) filters a diverse cast of characters through his witty, relentless narrative voice. Employing parody, social satire and traditional storytelling methods, Boyle's 16 stories invoke vastly different fictional worlds. The author gives us a death-defying stuntman (in ``Human Fly''), a fast-talking pitchman briefing the Ayatollah on how to improve his image (``Hard Sell''), a businessman who sells his soul to the devil (``The Devil and Irv Cherniske''), a New York construction worker's vision of the Virgin at a religious shrine in Ireland (``The Miracle at Ballinspittle''), even a young man romancing a woman pathologically afraid of germs (``Modern Love''). All of these stories seem fueled by the writer's own curiosity about people and places, but a few, unfortunately, read like throwaways. These stand out because most of the book is so full of diversity, wit and daring. 25,000 first printing; author tour. (May)
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