L.S. Klepp
October 13, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Friend of the Earth

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
T. Coraghessan Boyle
publisher
Viking
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Future imperfect has been the preferred tense of forward-looking fiction since way back into the 20th century’s past imperfect. So the future courtesy of T. C. Boyle, whose favorite fictional territory is black-humorous extremes and ordeals, is sure to be no picnic. In fact, it’s ecocide. In 2025, the biosphere has collapsed. Most wild animals are extinct, along with all fish, and because of global warming, California is raked by roof-raising storms followed by baking heat. A Friend of the Earth tells the story of Ty Tierwater — a decent, muddled, but increasingly militant monkey-wrencher for a radical environmental group called Earth Forever! — and his innocent vegetarian daughter Sierra. As usual, Boyle’s razor-edged style is an unnerving pleasure. B+

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