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A friend of the earth
T. Coraghessan Boyle
Adult Fiction BOYLE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Mordantly funny and inventive, this take-no-prisoners novel revolves around a few of Boyle's favorite themes: obsessive hygiene, compulsive consumerism, uneasiness in the natural world and fear of technology. As the Vonnegutishly named Tyrone "Ty" O'Shaughnessy Tierwater reminds readers, "to be a friend of the earth you have to be an enemy of the people." In the year 2025, Ty is 75, by contemporary standards a young-old man, and zookeeper for a private menagerie in Santa Ynez, Calif. Most mammals are extinct, and the environment as 20th-century humans knew it is destroyed. Besieged by floods, drought and Force 8 winds, people tramp through pestilential mud, eat farm-grown catfish and drink rice wine. In flashbacks from the frenetic 21st-century sections to Ty's past as a rabid environmentalist in the late '80s and early '90s, Boyle choreographs a syncopated dance, riffing on the mores and manias of environmental crusaders. To prove a point in their early campaign, Ty and wife Andrea spend 30 days naked and unprovisioned in the wilderness, emerging triumphant. But otherwise, Ty is subjected to a lifelong series of humiliations, and his forthrightness about them makes him sympathetic, while eco-warriors in general are skewered as relentlessly as the bulldozer-driven corporations. A bad time is had by all, most notably by Ty's daughter, the tree-sitting Sierra, who, unlike Julia Butterfly Hill (the real-life tree-sitter who surely influenced Boyle), does not descend from her perch to publishing contracts and public radio interviews. Boyle (The Tortilla Curtain) allows for a hint of redemption in the end, but his depiction of the cruel fate of humankindÄthe fate of monkey wrenchers, lumber companies, the not-quite-engaged and the engaged, tooÄis as unflinching as it is satirical. Major ad/promo; first serial to Outside magazine; 8-city author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The year is 2025, and global warming is a catastrophic reality; most mammalian species are extinct. Tyrone Tierwater looks back to the late 1980s, when he first predicted that disaster would happen. Although it was his activist wife, Andrea, who initially goaded him into joining the ecoterrorist group Earth Forever!, Tyrone and his daughter Sierra quickly surpassed Andrea in their commitment to monkeywrenching. Tyrone was repeatedly arrested for criminal trespass and the destruction of property and ended up spending years in prison. Meanwhile, Andrea advanced in the movement's leadership council, and when her husband's antics threatened her position, she quickly divorced him. In retrospect, Tyrone realizes that history's having proven him right offers little solace for a wasted life. In his new work, Boyle (Riven Rock) mercilessly skewers developers and environmentalists alike; clearly, developers have trashed the planet, but Boyle also shows that Tierwater's monkeywrenching is partly destruction for its own sake, and Earth Forever! is more interested in protecting its own bureaucracy than the environment. Even Mother Nature comes in for a drubbing, as when a wealthy rock star is eaten by one of the animals in his private zoo. What results is powerful satire that rethinks the basic premises of Edward Abbey's classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, arguing that there are no quick and easy solutions. This book shows Boyle maturing from a glib comedic talent to a more serious novelist. Recommended for most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]DEdward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tierwater
Age: 75
Hardcore environmentalist.

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