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Cheryl's books

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The Collected Stories
John McGahern
George Eliot
Omensetter's Luck
William H. Gass
Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
A Naked Singularity (Paper)
Sergio De La Pava
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
Geoff Dyer
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Claire Tomalin
Maps and Legends
Michael Chabon
The Tortilla Curtain - T.C. Boyle Most of the characters, no I think all of them, are sharply drawn caricatures of either hypocritical wealthy redneck pseudo-liberals living in a gated California enclave, or poor hapless powerless victimised illegal Mexicans (how many adjectives can one sentence hold before it explodes?). Toss in some menacing rich white bully teens, mix with evil Mexican canyon denizens, add in a few natural-and/or-manmade disasters occurring at always exactly the wrong moment, and there's your story.
These characters are, for the most part, intensely unlikeable. The few likeable characters are irritating because you keep thinking, "Move on! Move away!". But they aren't listening to the voices in my head.
The characters were stereotypes, and it felt like Boyle was flicking switches calculated to trigger specific emotional responses. 'ok, moral outrage here, sentimental sympathy in 3,2,1, now!'
But it sure does get you thinking about the plight of Mexican illegals, and the limitless cruelties so easily perpetrated by so many, without guilt or self-awareness.