Magazine October 18, 2021, Issue

T. C. Boyle’s New Novel Is a Tragic-Absurd Assault on ‘Humanity’

(Ridofranz/Getty Images)
Talk to Me: A Novel, by T. C. Boyle (Ecco, 352 pp., $27.99).

Roughly 40 years ago in Pasadena, in an apartment court dating from the Ray­mond Chandler era, I heard T. C. Boyle read his story “Ike and Nina,” purporting to give a former staffer’s account of an improbable attraction between President Eisenhower and the wife of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He was T. Coraghessan Boyle in those early days, a theatrical figure with a name to match; I’d been reading him since his first stories appeared in little magazines. Some writers are good readers of their own fiction; more are not. Boyle is one of the best I’ve ever heard, not

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “All Too Human” in the October 18, 2021, print edition of National Review.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Become a Member

In This Issue



Special Section on Education

Books, Arts & Manners



The Latest