A Friend of the Earth

A Friend of the Earth

3.65 (2,599 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's 2025. Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tierwater is eking out a bleak living in southern California, managing a pop-star's private menagerie, holding some of the last surviving animals in the world. Global warming is a reality. In his youth, Ty had been so serious about environmental issues that as an ecoterrorist committed to Earth Forever! he had endangered the lives of both his daughter, Sierra, and his wife, Andrea. Now, when the past seems far behind him and he is just trying to survive in a world cursed by storm and drought, Andrea returns to his life...Frightening, funny, surreal and gripping, in A Friend of the Earth T.C. Boyle gives us a story that is both a modern morality tale, and a provocative vision of the future.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 20mm | 240.4g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 0747553467
  • 9780747553465
  • 395,346

Review quote

'Another example of the current awesome strength of the American novel ... if Boyle was from this side of the pond, this is the book they'd all have to beat for the Booker Prize' Sunday Tribune 'A comedy with teeth from one of America's most consistently inventive novelists' The Timesshow more

About T. C Boyle

T.C. Boyle is the bestselling author of seven novels: WATER MUSIC, BUDDING PROSPECTS, EAST IS EAST, WORLD'S END for which he won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE, THE TORTILLA CURTAIN and RIVEN ROCK. He is also the author of four collections of short stories, and his fiction appears regularly in THE NEW YORKER, GQ, PLAYBOY and ESQUIRE. He lives in California.show more

Review Text

By 2025 the ecological disasters that had long been predicted to overtake the globe have come to pass. Most of the creatures that once walked, swam, flew or crawled on Earth are extinct. The few remaining examples of wildlife are kept in private menageries. One such is maintained in Southern California by 75-year-old former environmental activist, Tyrone O'Shaughnessy, who looks after an assemblage of 'unglamorous' creatures such as warthogs and hyenas for his Rock Star boss. Tyrone has resigned himself to merely eeking out an existence, until his ex-wife Andrea comes back into his life, forcing him to confront his past. However, Boyle's narrative quickly draws the reader in and he again displays his great descriptive skills, which whether addressing a face, a place, or an incident are all delivered in sharp, punchy prose. The flashbacks that take us back into Tyrone's past and trace the unfolding of the intertwined tragedies that are central to his life (one personal, one global) work well and keep things moving along at a page-turning pace. Funny and observant though it is, the narrative's sardonic, detached tone never quite allows any real sense of empathy to develop with the central characters. The result is a readable story that fails to provoke the depth of emotional involvement that its moral and ecological messages demand in order for them to really strike home and linger long after the last page has been turned. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

2,599 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 19% (506)
4 38% (994)
3 33% (846)
2 8% (200)
1 2% (53)
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