Wild Child Stories by T.C. Boyle
T. C. Boyle is a very inventive writer. The story is set in California. The hero of the story is Lonnie and his wife's name is Clover. They have a baby, a girl. It seems as if he is having a bad morning already on his waking up. His wife is going off to work. It is all too much for him and he thinks that he will not be able to go to work. He has used up his sick days. There are none left at all. He resents a bit being left with the child. She expects him to take care of the kid all by himself.
He calls into the office and makes up an excuse for not going to work about the baby being sick. His job is to do with the technical part of working in a film office. He thinks it is a very boring job. It is the same all the time and annoying. He goes off then and goes to a coffee shop instead. Who does not want to just go to a coffee shop and hang out in the morning instead of going to work? It is a nice day and he cannot help himself. It gets worse and worse and you really start to get worried about him.
The next day he again calls in that the baby is still sick and he has to take her to the doctor. Now he has gone to the beach and gone surfing. It is a great day. Who does not really want to go to the beach instead of to work? He comes home and some friends have come over to dinner with them. His wife does not know that he stayed away from work. He makes a bad joke about the baby being fat enough to eat. His wife is not thrilled. It is like a male housewife rebellion.
Later the next day, he still calls up and gives the boss another excuse. He then tells him that the baby has died. He goes off again and stays away from work. He has the baby and takes care of it. The next day he calls in again to work and tells them that he had to go to the baby's funeral. A collection is taken for him the next day and given to him when he goes in. They throw the bag of money at him. He does not know what to do then and he just keeps the money.
The secretary to the boss at work calls up his wife though after all of this. She says she is very sorry about their baby having died. His wife says that there is nothing wrong with the baby and that there must be some mistake. You can tell this will not work out very well. It does not really say what happens after that. It is left for you to imagine what happened yourself with the facts that you already know. There is never really a dull moment in this story. It keeps you reading until the end of it.
It is a very California type of a story. It is surprising how well the story is put together and you are drawn into it. The idea of it is upsetting and kind of funny at the same time. It makes you think about your work and your own life. Lonnie just did not care about what would happen anymore. It is very difficult to live in California and that type of job. It seems to have been a slightly troubled marriage from the beginning and that he did not really want to get married.
Three Quarters of the Way to Hell
This is a story of two tortured souls. It is a man and a woman. They are both getting older and meet after having met before. They are both in the music business and are going into a recording studio to record some songs and it is Christmas Eve. He could not remember where he had seen her before. They are singing the songs and almost done. So it is a wrap. She is thinking that maybe he will ask her to a bar. She begins singing Christmas carols while the workers in the recording studio are still there. They are still in the booth together. The guy begins singing the songs with her. So they go on singing the Christmas carols together. It was a very nice moment in time there. It turned it into a very happy ending. She wanted someone to be able to understand her. He is a very good writer.
T. C. Boyle website
- Wild Child by T C Boyle: review - Telegraph
Jake Kerridge watches nature strike back at mankind in T C Boyle's new collection of stories, Wild Child