Wild Child, and Other Stories
T. C. Boyle

Book cover image

Narrated By: T. C. Boyle

Duration: 10 hours and 23 minutes

What to expect

There may be no one better than T. C. Boyle at engaging, shocking, and ultimately gratifying readers while at the same time testing his characters’ emotional and physical endurance.

The fourteen stories in this rich new collection display T. C. Boyle’s astonishing range and imaginative muscle. Nature is the dominant player in many of these stories, whether in the form of a catastrophic mudslide that allows a cynic to reclaim his humanity or in Boyle’s powerfully original retelling of the story of Victor, the feral boy who was captured running naked through the forests of Napoleonic France—a moving and magical investigation of what it means to be human. Other tales range from the drama of a man who spins Homeric lies in order to stop going to work, to that of a young woman who must babysit for a $250,000 cloned Afghan, to the sad comedy of a child born to Mexican street vendors who is unable to feel pain. Brilliant, incisive, and always engaging, Boyle’s short stories showcase the mischievous humor and socially conscious sensibility that have made him one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.

Genre

Short stories, Fiction: general and literary, Fiction: general and literary

Listen to a sample

“Dazzling…Boyle [is] that literary wild child whose flights of narrative fancy refuse to be domesticated.”

Los Angeles Times

“T. C. Boyle, like the megalomaniac American overachievers at the heart of his muscular, quasi-historical novels The Road to Wellville, The Inner Circle, and last year’s The Women, runs on a powerful mix of ambition and brilliance. The title novella of Wild Child, Boyle’s energetic, engaging ninth collection of short stories…[is] a vivid reimagining of the story of the enfant sauvage of Aveyron…the thirteen other stories in Wild Child [are] almost all attention-grabbers…Each of the tales in this entertaining collection show us what the driver in ‘La Conchita’ calls ‘the real deal’—things that really matter.”

NPR

“The title novella in Boyle’s ninth collection is as good as anything the prolific author of The Women has written…Boyle interrogates history with an experienced reader’s wariness of sentimental revisionism and a great writer’s attention to precisely what defines the child’s wildness.”

Publishers Weekly

“Superlative author T. C. Boyle is also an excellent reader of his own work. His voice is purely American West—flat-voweled , pleasantly modulated, with a hint of a baritone growl. He reads without vocal flourish, but with an intensity that captures the listener and won’t let go. It’s pell-mell without being rushed; urgent but not desperate; entirely articulate. And such stories. The fate of a boy who cannot feel pain; the way in which a California mudslide can save a soul; a girl who may or may not lie for her father. Stories that feel simultaneously quotidian and mythic…This is a mesmerizing audiobook experience.”