The island of Anacapa, off the coast of California, is overrun with black rats which are threatening the ancient population of ground-nesting birds. Alma Boyd Takesue of the National Park Service is campaigning to exterminate them once and for all, but her systematic plan is in danger of sabotage by two notorious environmental activists, Anise Reed and Dave LaJoy. But when Alma's sights turn to the infestation of non-native pigs on the island of Santa Cruz - where Anise was brought up by her rancher mother - the stakes are raised and the debate threatens to boil over into something much more real...
Trained in the way of the Samurai, dreaming of the City of Brotherly Love, Hiro Tanaka impetuously jumps ship off the coast of Georgia - only to wash up on a barrier island populated by rednecks, descendants of black slaves, and a colony of crazed artists. Terrifying one islander - literally - to death, and fleeing not only from the Immigration Agents but also an elderly lady convinced he is Seiji Ozawa, Tanaka is unwittingly caught up in a hilarious and irretievably complicated spider''s web of misunderstandings. His sole refuge on the island, the manipulative and ambiguous novelist Ruth Dershowitz, only draws him in ever deeper... ''Hilarious. A talented entertainer with a beady eye for the absurdities of culture shock.'' GUARDIAN ''Boyle has a fine descriptive eye and peoples the novel with wonderfully absurd characters.'' TIME OUT>
BY THE WINNER OF THE JONATHAN SWIFT PRIZE 2017 A dynamic new collection from one of our most original storytellers: satirical, surreal and very much of the moment.
In these stories, T. C. Boyle focuses hisunerring eye on humanity's relationship with nature, and the unintended consequences of our efforts to control it. The prize-winning 'Are We Not Men?' reflects on the impact of new gene-editing technologies while 'The Relive Box' parodies our obsession with electronic games.
In 'She's the Bomb', a young woman waits on her graduation day, heart in mouth, for an explosive event. A burrito-seller has a killer business idea in 'The Five-Pound Burrito', but learns that success comes at a price. An Italian couple moves south for a fresh start in 'The Argentine Ant', but finds that paradise holds a nasty sting. And in the chilling 'The Designee', a lonely widower can't believe his luck when he receives a mysterious letter from England.
In electric prose T. C. Boyle explores myriad facets of society: greed and excess, parenthood and responsibility, the digital world and the way we understand our mortality. Roaming unrestrainedly through the present and near future, he inhabits his characters' minds with a ventriloquist's flair, skewering human motivations and revealing us to ourselves with empathy and wry humour.