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Drop City (2003)

de T.C. Boyle

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
2,426556,294 (3.74)1 / 162
T.C. Boyle has proven himself to be a master storyteller who can do just about anything. But even his most ardent admirers may be caught off guard by his ninth novel, for Boyle has delivered something completely unexpected: a serious and richly rewarding character study that is his most accomplished and deeply satisfying work to date. It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune has decided to relocate to the last frontier-the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska-in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. The novel opposes two groups of characters: Sess Harder, his wife Pamela, and other young Alaskans who are already homesteading in the wilderness and the brothers and sisters of Drop City, who, despite their devotion to peace, free love, and the simple life, find their commune riven by tensions. As these two communities collide, their alliances shift and unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. Drop City is not a satire or a nostalgic look at the sixties, though its evocation of the period is presented with a truth and clarity that no book on that era has achieved. This is a surprising book, a rich, allusive, and nonsentimental look at the ideals of a generation and their impact on today's radically transformed world. Above all, it is a novel infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which T.C. Boyle is justly famous.… (mais)
  1. 40
    Into the Wild de Jon Krakauer (suniru)
  2. 10
    The Beach de Alex Garland (usuallee)
    usuallee: Another great novel dealing with a youthful, naive quest for utopia by retreating from society.
  3. 00
    Arcadia de Lauren Groff (booklove2)
    booklove2: Another amazing novel on hippie communes trying to find their place. Also, a similar writing style.
  4. 00
    We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America de Kate Daloz (libraryhead)
  5. 00
    The Lady de Anne McCaffrey (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the general atmosphere of social upheaval.
  6. 00
    Outside Looking In de T.C. Boyle (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In beiden Romanen geht es um Gegenbewegungen, wobei Drogen ein wichtiges Element der Zusammengehörigkeit ist.
  7. 01
    The Terror de Dan Simmons (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For characters failing to adapt to their environment.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 55 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Hippies meet frontier Alaska. Sounds like a setting for some seriously funny jokes, and I did find it funny watching a bunch of naive California folks, hooked on mind-altering substances and caught up in a group fantasy of self-importance, wandering off to a place where reality can and will re-assert itself.
I liked how this novel shows some of how conventional ideas like gender roles creep into even the most earnest bohemian groups, so that women are still treated as subservient, expected to cook and clean and allow men to use their bodies at will in the spirit of 'free love'. Traditional power structures still turn up in Drop City, and persist because the men who hold the greater power enjoy their positions and have no reason to freely give up their power. Since Boyle focuses on the POV of a woman, Star, we get to see the rather conventional ways women are treated within the nudist, supposedly egalitarian society the people of Drop City are creating.
( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
Boyle is always entertaining - what I found most interesting about this story was the juxtaposition between the wrongheaded hippie idealism that was already fading in the 70s and the hardened survivalists eking out an existence in the Alaskan bush. The drugged-out free-lovers and commune denizens are pretty easy targets, but in the end Boyle's point is that there are good and bad folks in every community, and that hard work and respect for others are the main things that divide them. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
T.C. Boyle is an example of the writer whom one avoids because he's too productive. He's always placing stories in The Atlantic and Harper's and crowding out lesser known young writers. The ultimate overly profuse writer is, of course, Joyce Carol Oates. Enough said.

It turns out, though, for me at least, that Boyle is a damned fine writer. Drop City, a tale about a hippie farm "family" that transplants to Alaska and comes to a dark end, hits the spot as a gripping story, a bit of social history, and a portrait of a different, far-flung place and climate where the ordinary rules definitely don't apply. Entertaining and rewarding on multiple levels and in multiple ways. And damned fine writing. ( )
  Cr00 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Ok, this book really isn't a four star book. Unless you really like T.C. Boyle. And I do. I have no idea why. But I do.

In a nutshell, this book is a peek into what might happen if two completely opposing cultures had to contend with each other. It starts off at a hippie commune in California which ends up displaced to Alaska. Boyle develops a set of hippie characters and a set of hardworking, live off the land, Alaskan types - - and the two mix and mingle in ways that are both funny and also very tragic.

I try to put my finger on why I like Boyle's writing so much - - and I find it hard. I really don't think it is his plotting. He comes up with great situations to explore, and stuff does happen, but I don't get a strong feeling of resolution in his books. His characters in Drop City were terrific - - interesting, unique, and not always terribly insightful. Yet, you really never care about them much. If they die, they die. His writing doesn't make me emotionally charged like the writing of others.

BUT, the creativity!!! His premise was so interesting - - and he uses words to draw terrific mental pictures, of people, of place. I just think his writing is so well crafted and fun to read. His characters have such a rich mental life - - and it is so at odds with the way they behave sometimes - - just like real life.

All in all, this book just had a "hard to put down" quality - - and I was sorry when it was done. At over 500 pages, Boyle obviously does something right. . . ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
Realistic fictional account of attempts by Hippies to operate a commune, beginning in California and ending up in Alaska. Would have been better at half its 495 pages. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 55 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Mr. Boyle's sheer brio as a storyteller and his delight in recounting his characters' adventures quickly win the reader over. He has written a novel that is not only an entertaining romp through the madness of the counterculture 70's, but a stirring parable about the American dream as well.
 

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T.C. Boyle has proven himself to be a master storyteller who can do just about anything. But even his most ardent admirers may be caught off guard by his ninth novel, for Boyle has delivered something completely unexpected: a serious and richly rewarding character study that is his most accomplished and deeply satisfying work to date. It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune has decided to relocate to the last frontier-the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska-in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. The novel opposes two groups of characters: Sess Harder, his wife Pamela, and other young Alaskans who are already homesteading in the wilderness and the brothers and sisters of Drop City, who, despite their devotion to peace, free love, and the simple life, find their commune riven by tensions. As these two communities collide, their alliances shift and unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. Drop City is not a satire or a nostalgic look at the sixties, though its evocation of the period is presented with a truth and clarity that no book on that era has achieved. This is a surprising book, a rich, allusive, and nonsentimental look at the ideals of a generation and their impact on today's radically transformed world. Above all, it is a novel infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which T.C. Boyle is justly famous.

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