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A Friend of the Earth (2000)

by T. C. Boyle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8911717,688 (3.66)38
Tyrone O'Shaugnessy Tierwater, suburban drudge, is manager of an antiquated shopping centre in New York. His life is changed dramatically by his marriage to Andrea, a well-known environmental activist. Flashing forward to 2025, Tyrone is now manager of a pop star's private animal menagerie.
  1. 00
    Das Meer by Wolfram Fleischhauer (JuliaMaria)
  2. 00
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Dystopien bzgl. kommender Umweltkatastrophen
  3. 00
    When the Killing's Done by T. C. Boyle (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In beiden Romanen von Boyle steht Umweltschutz bzw. stehen Umweltschützer im Mittelpunkt.
  4. 00
    Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Umweltschützer
  5. 00
    World's End by T. C. Boyle (Anonymous user)
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
bleh
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Bleak and strange. Boyle hammers his message a lot more than usual in this book. Probably because environmental disaster is one of his hobby horses. I didn't understand what the payoff was supposed to be for this one since from the start things have a foregone conclusion. The story takes place in a near future "present" where global warming as killed off pretty much everything and most areas of the world are uninhabitable. That's the given. Then it flashes back to the 80s and 90s, but there really isn't a moment when everything changes. We aren't privy to the disaster just its lead up and aftermath. All the characters are hapless, doomed or both and it wasn't a good time. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jun 30, 2018 |
Here's the truth: I HATE the cover of this book. As in, HATE, to the point where it was tempting to tear it off and throw it away, and I rather wish I had, but for the fact that that would have made the book difficult to give away. And I don't always pay attention to covers. I've never hated one, certainly. But this one? Yeah--I hate it. Maybe that shouldn't matter--it probably shouldn't, I suppose--but it does. This book literally sat on my shelf, traveling with me for five or six moves over the course of about a decade because, as much as it sounded like something that I would love... I kept on putting it back on the shelf when I thought about the prospect of seeing its cover, day in and day out, for however long I'd be reading it. And while reading it, over the past week and a half, I did my best to keep it facing down so that I could do my best to ignore the cover One way or another, it influences me, and seeing it in the corner of the page as I write this review makes it impossible to ignore.

So, does that edge down my review? It might. Did that make me skeptical or set my sights higher as I entered the book? Maybe so. Probably so. But the book was a gift, and the person who gave it to me was right in thinking I'd enjoy the story. If it were up to me, the cover would have kept me from buying it.

Why am I harping on this? Well, because it colors how I feel about the book, unavoidably.

I did enjoy Boyle's writing here, and I enjoyed the story, once I got into it (which took quite a while, I have to admit). The jumping from past to present, and back again, is effective, even if it doesn't necessarily add suspense. I'm anxious to read more of his work, truth be told. But at the same time, there's a really certain cynicism here that turned me off, and the cover is just a sign of it. The main character's voice is so cynical, in fact, that I found it almost impossible to engage with him--I was interested, on some level, but more out of curiosity than sympathy. And this was a character that, truly, I should have loved and been heartbroken by. But I wasn't. And the pessimism compelling the book forward, soaking the paragraphs, made it a less than enjoyable read. As a result, I'm not actually sure who I'd recommend this to, short of English students or academics looking for a particular type of read. Even now, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. And I probably could have walked away from it for weeks on end... if I hadn't been desperate to finish it so that I could never look at the cover again.

All told, I'm anxious to read more of Boyle's work. I'm not sure that reading this one, though, was worth dealing with the cover. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jun 9, 2017 |
I couldn't get through it.
1 vote Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
A great read. And as time passes, the more accurate Boyle's vision of the future becomes! ( )
  MalGormley | Mar 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Ein jeder Geist baut sich ein Haus und hinter seinem Haus eine Welt und hinter seiner Welt einen Himmel. Wisse also, daß die Welt für dich existiert. (Ralph Waldo Emerson "Natur")
The earth died screaming
While I lay dreaming
(Tom Waits "The Earth Died Screaming")
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Ich verfüttere gerade Kraftkekse und Hühnerrücken an die Hyäne und tue mein Bestes, um nach dem letzten Unwetter einigermaßen aufzuräumen, als das Telefon klingelt.
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Tyrone O'Shaugnessy Tierwater, suburban drudge, is manager of an antiquated shopping centre in New York. His life is changed dramatically by his marriage to Andrea, a well-known environmental activist. Flashing forward to 2025, Tyrone is now manager of a pop star's private animal menagerie.

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