Talk to Me
T. C. Boyle
‘Howlingly marvellous … Gripping and inescapably bittersweet’ Boston Globe
‘Hits the mark … Real and relevant’ BookTrib
Guy Schermerhorn, brilliant young professor of psychology and disciple of the pioneering Dr Moncrieff, is making a name for himself on the talk show circuit with an unusual protege in tow: a chimp by the name of Sam. Sam lives in Guy’s apartment, wears diapers and neckties, devours pizza and Macdonalds – and, through Guy’s careful training, can communicate through sign language.
But living with Sam is wreaking havoc on Guy’s personal life, and when shy, meek undergraduate Aimee Villard volunteers to take on babysitting for him, he can’t believe his luck. Aimee and Sam have an immediate rapport, and before Guy knows it she’s moved in, proudly devoting herself to Sam’s care and Guy’s project.
Aimee has never known purpose and happiness like this; but when Guy’s funding is imperilled, and Sam is taken away by the sinister Moncrief, her world falls apart. Aimee discovers just how far she’ll go to, and just what she’ll risk, to be united with the chimp she’s come to love so much.
‘Boyle tells this story with clear-eyed, flinty intelligence’ Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald
‘An engaging tale’ The Blurb, Australia
Howlingly marvelous ... Boyle's masterly storytelling and shrewd social commentary have much in common with Charles Dickens; his laid-back, colloquial prose is maximalist rather than minimalist, with a touch of acute satire ... Gripping and inescapably bittersweet -- Joseph Peschel * Boston Globe * If the measure of a good story is how often you think about it after you are done, then Talk to Me hits the mark ... Real and relevant * BookTrib * Boyle tells this story with clear-eyed, flinty intelligence * Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald * [An] engaging tale of two very flawed but very human characters - Aimee and Guy, who for the most part are trying to do their best and be true to themselves * The Blurb, Australia * PRAISE FOR T. C. BOYLE: Boyle is a writer who chooses a large canvas and fills it to the edges -- Barbara Kingsolver A virtuoso craftsman -- Annie Proulx Funny, but not always in a way you can laugh at. Boyle's dissections are far too accurate. One moment you're watching the antics of a narcissistic cast; the next you're finding it all heartbreakingly human -- M John Harrison You don't feel cheated, reading Boyle - while the head knows there's manipulation and artifice, the heart thumps * Observer * Boyle has a talent for describing events we may never experience with an arresting matter-of-factness. There is a thrill to this, and to not knowing where he will take us next -- Chris Power * Guardian * A sort of Frank Zappa of American letters ... Like the Beat writers before him, Boyle documents American life in the underbelly. Boyle is incapable of writing a boring sentence ... he is a master of the short story form * Financial Times * Thomas Coraghessan Boyle isn't the first writer to probe the American malaise, but he makes a two-fisted, Technicolor job of it * Sunday Times * Masterful * Daily Telegraph * Brilliant ... His characters are portrayed with sympathy and internal complexity, even if they're still crazy * New Statesman * One of our finest chroniclers ... Boyle is always going outside himself, jumping into foreign skins ... The best of Boyle's novels warn against the varieties of human extremism: our problems may be grave, he often says, but we make them worse by acting on our unexamined impulses and convictions * Independent *
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