The Us vs Them Syndrome
I posted this question in the Diversity Works group, but I wanted to open up the discussion to others who have read the book:
I finished this book by T.C. Boyle last night, and I was floored. It's amazing to me how he captured the feelings, frustrations, and obstacles that both the Mexican immigrant and upper class populations face when sharing the same living spaces, in this case, Los Angeles. I almost don't know where to start, but I'm going to address a few points that especially stuck out to me:
1. People have more sympathy for a dog eaten by a coyote, or a dog locked in a car than an immigrant who gets hit by a car. Yes, it can be argued that a dog can't really fend for himself and is completely innocent, but is it still right that a dog can trudge up more emotion than a person?
2. The members of the gated community were concerned that the immigrants who were living in the brush and canyons were causing irreperable damage to the ecosystem and environment with their makeshift campsights. But no thought was given to the mega housing complexes, gates and walls that were being built, not to mention the cars each individual was driving.
3. They took away the day labor site, but not before they used this labor to pass out flyers and build the walls and gates meant to keep the immigrants and other minorities out.
I could go on and on, this book was great. Feel free to comment, or add anything else from the book that stuck out to you.
I read this book years ago & I can still 'see it'. That's saying a lot I think. I would recommend this book; it's even more timely now, years later.
Think for a minute how the coyotes are like the people in this book. Our book club's discussion revealed that most were surprised by how much was in such a seemingly simple package.
I don't know if I'm going to finish this book. I personally know illegal immigrants and think that interacting with them informs me far more than any book will. And if the purpose of the book is to educate, as it seems to be, I think it's preaching to the choir.
TCB was famous at the small college I went to ... I think I just missed him ... so I've always wanted to read something of his.
The fact that it is a work of fiction would suggest that it isn't trying to directly educate. I think the book is trying to make a statement about society's hypocritical thinking and how when faced with a dire situation people often act exactly opposite as their surface level 'easy living' values would suggest they act. Boyle is brilliant with irony and satire and if you don't appreciate those techniques in writing or just don't get what is trying to do then you probably will not appreciate him.
I hope you finished the book! To me it isn't about education but a beautiful story with great characters.
not often do I read fiction. Admittedly, an assigned read, but well worth it. Boyle brings it home without care for subtlety.
This book is really interesting is about Delaney who is 5"9, 165pounds, lives at El blanco Estates with his wife Kira and step son Jordan. Delaney is a liberal humanist and enviromenalist. Delaney hits a mexican immigrant who walks into a busy street, Candido was badly injured. The immigrant name is Candido, he lives in Topanga State Park.
I am trying to finish this book. So far, I am not really sold on any of the characters.
I agree Diane. I have found that with a lot of T.C.'s books. The stories are very good, but the characters are not as likable. Tortilla Curtain is worth reading for the social commentary.
I don't know how to describe his characters. It is not the characters themselves that stick with me in the books of his I have read but the topics he picks and how he seems to make you re-think what you thought about an issue. This was one of the best book group discussions my group has ever had. He took a topic (immigration issue) and stepped out side and walked all the way around it so the reader could see each person's perspective without bias to any one view. Suddenly, the topic isn't so black and white but about the human condition - that we are all PEOPLE. Stick with the book because after you have read it you will be surprised at how much it makes you think! A great one to discuss too if you are in a group.