Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Friend of the Earth by T C Boyle (24/81)

Category: The Complete Works Of…T C Boyle

It is 2025 and Ty Tierwater is the manager of a private menagerie of some of the last surviving animals in the world. The world has been devastated global warming, floods and winds. Out of the blue, Ty’s ex-wife Andrea turns up and Ty tells the story of his previous life as a notorious eco-warrior.

After the disappointment of The Inner Circle I was wondering if I'd made a huge mistake with this category, but thankfully this book has revived my faith in Boyle. It shared many of the qualities that I enjoyed in the other three books of his I'd enjoyed; colourful characters, believable emotions and a lot of imagination.

The story moves between 2025 written in the first person from Ty’s perspectives, to the past (late 80s and 90s) told in the third person. This changing perspective is a technique Boyle does well and here was no exception.

Some reviews have criticised it for being too preachy, but I didn't find that at all. The actions of the environmentalists are shown to have been pointless and their motivations at times questionable. It is also as much a story about loss and family, which was much more moving than the environmental aspect.

Rather a bleak depiction of the future, but a good read and I'm not feeling so daunted by the prospect of the rest of the category now.

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