Talk to Me

T.C. Boyle. Ecco, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-063052-85-7
Boyle’s diverting latest (after Outside Looking In) is equal parts road novel, campus drama, and roundabout love triangle focused around Sam, an intelligent chimp raised among humans who communicates through sign language, making him a brief cause célèbre in the mid-1980s. Behavioral scientist and college professor Guy Schermerhorn has a lot to prove—his life’s a ruin and his custodianship of Sam is in question—leading him to stake everything on an appearance with Sam on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, lest Guy’s sinister superior, Dr. Moncrief, cart Sam off to be experimented on, or worse. Guy enlists Aimee Villard, an eager student with an immediate connection to Sam. Professor and student embark on a halfhearted relationship, but both are focused on the increasingly demanding chimp, and, as Dr. Moncrief moves to make good on his threats, Aimee takes Sam on a cross-country road trip, winding up in a trailer court in Arizona, where the two eke out a life among the local misfit community. Chapters from Sam’s perspective make him a captivating creation, but fans of Boyle will recognize a bit of retread from his previous novels and stories. It’s a fun ride, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/06/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-305284-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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