TC Boyle’s Style Essay
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Style is a huge part of why authors sell their work. Their way of writing, the tone they set, and the mood create helps define their style. TC Boyle has a very unique style that draws readers in and places them into his world. Although dark, creepy and slightly morbid is his style, he has a huge fan-base. In an interview he stated that “It’s my universe, and by god they will suffer” (Grant A life in writing: TC Boyle).
This reveals how he has that dark side to him, also his mind set when writing. This increases defining what his style is. He mainly reveals his very original way of writing though the mood and situations he makes his characters go through. To start off, a great example that shows this morbid and sinister style is in his short story about a terrible football team that lost 56 to 0. In this story, he depicts how broken and battered this team is. They are a joke, and yet he gives the illusion they are going to change when he puts his main character into a preacher like situation, where he talks his disheveled teammates into playing another game and encouraging them to win. He has this character say, “What are you a bunch of pussies? Afraid to get your uniforms dirty? Afraid of a little contact? What do you want – to live with fifty-six-to-nothing for the rest of your life? Huh? I don’t hear you!” He places this character into a positive attitude, just to tear it down by having the team loose the next game, which he just encouraged the entire team to participate in. This positive outlook was taken away when “…and Ray Arthur Larry-Pete Fontenot launched himself at the kicker like the space shuttle coming in for a landing, and suddenly – miracle of miracles! – He felt the hard cold pellet of the ball glancing off the bandaged nubs of his fingers.” And they lost the game and failed their last effort to not look so pathetic. It is beautifully written and encourages such an air of home but yet still has that sad ending and as the quote said, he made them suffer. Yes it is extremely entertaining, but still rather sad. Which brings me to the next example, which is provided in his story called Sinking House. A story about an old widow, whose late husband was abusive and horrid, who decides to drown her house. Boyle in this shows his style so well because then entire air and mood of the story is extremely somber and grey. Just picturing a house with an old lady all alone with water stricken floors and walls is extremely creepy.
This story is a great example in explaining his style not only because of the entire situation and mood he sets, but puts images into the readers mind about this woman and how her life was, it gives the reader something to connect with, and also takes the psycho nature of this woman away. One part she steps out of her house, away from the running water, and the flooding, into reality “In that pit of that dry silence she could hear him, Monty, treading the buckled floor, pouring himself another vodka, cursing her in a voice like sandpaper.” This opens the reader up to whole level of what she suffered through that in silence, she could still hear her husband verbally abusing her. The only solution was to have water running constantly, flooding her house, a sense of freedom. That imagery in my eyes is absolutely stunning. Making TC Boyle’s style even more brilliant. His little tricks and clever connections add to his originality and unique style. Lastly, going on about connections, in the TC Boyles story, Chicxulu. This story is about parents who are told their daughter is a car accident and she is dead, at the same time drawing a parallel to a meteor that will take out the whole world in a second. He wrote this story so honest, as in the reactions and actions of the characters are right on point, exactly how you would picture it. There is a scene when the father and mother first arrive in the ER, and the father begins to mentally criticize everyone in the room who are doing their job, just because he in panic. This is such a normal and almost expected reaction that people under stress go through, as much as they may not want to admit it, it is defiantly human nature. This aspect of his style makes it so easy to connect with and that connection, ads a whole extra level to his works. In the end, when they go in for identification, and see that it is not their daughter, they are so relieved, although someone they know is dead lying before them, they have such relief. Another very human reaction, also the fact that it is not their daughter plays off what he said in the interview. He made these poor people suffer so much thinking that their daughter was dead, yet the reader is so intrigued and drawn in. We might feel a little angry towards Boyle because he did this to these loving people, but that twist makes the story very entertaining.
There are so many aspects to his style, levels and things that play off each other that weave so well together making it truly unique. He is an incredible writer whose style is one of a kind. Really delves into how people think about the world and hits most people in areas they don’t normally think about or want to think about. Although most, if not all are on the dark side, that characteristic adds to his style. His writing makes people think, and it gives new perspectives on situations because they are not the typical out-look or the most common situations one would encounter. Overall he is just brilliant and his distinct style makes writing exciting and oh so entertaining.