GREASY LAKE And Other Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle

GREASY LAKE And Other Stories

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Deft, confidently styled stories from the author of Descent of Man and Budding Prospects--in a variety of hip, serio-comic modes. Several of Boyle's new concoctions are impersonations, evocations of real or prototypical figures from the past: in ""The Hector Quesadilla Story,"" an aged Latin pitcher for the Dodgers suffers through an extra-innings game that parallels his long, hard life; in ""Stones In My Passway, Hellhound On My Trail,"" blues pioneer Robert Johnson meets his ballad-like death; and ""Rupert Beersley and the Beggar Master of Sivani-Hoota"" is an affectionate double-parody of Conan Doyle and Kipling. Elsewhere, the approach is more whimsical and sit-commy--with a secret 1950s love-affair for Eisenhower and Mrs. Khrushchev (""Ike and Nina""), trendy whale-watching, or ""The New Moon Party"" (a political/astronomical blunder). Boyle also satirizes middle-class America, its fears and fads, especially in the title story: bourgeois kids, hooked on the working-class war-cries of Bruce Springsteen, wind up scaring themselves half to death. And in two stories Boyle's glossy cartoon comedy also contains affecting, human complication: ""All Shook Up,"" about a pathetic Elvis imitator and his young wife's yearnings, becomes a subtle study in fidelity and commitment; and ""Caviar"" gets both laughs and deeper feelings from the subject of surrogate parenting. Readers familiar with Boyle's previous work will feel some d‚j… vu this time around. They also may wish for more depth and less of a smorgasbord: Boyle remains a versatile, impressive comic technician--but one who hasn't yet found an individual voice to go along with his standout talent.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1985
ISBN: 0140077812
Publisher: Viking