T. C. Boyle’s seventh novel transforms two characters straight out of history into rich mythic figures whose tortured love story is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. It is the dawn of the twentieth century when the beautiful, budding feminist Katherine Dexter falls in love with Stanley McCormick, son of a millionaire inventor. The two wed, but before the marriage is consummated, Stanley experiences a nervous breakdown and is diagnosed as a schizophrenic sex maniac. Locked up for the rest of his life at Riven Rock, the family’s California mansion, Stanley is treated by a series of confident doctors determined to cure him. But his true salvation lies with Katherine who, throughout her career as a scientist and suffragette, continues a patient vigil from beyond the walls of Riven Rock, never losing hope that one day Stanley will be healed. Blending social history with some of the most deliciously dark humor ever written, Boyle employs his hallmark virtuoso prose to tell the story of America’s age of innocence—and of a love affair that is as extraordinary as it is unforgettable.
T. Coraghessan gives an overview of the book:
About T. Coraghessan
T. Coraghessan Boyle is the author of nineteen books of fiction, including, most recently, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), and Talk Talk (2006). Born Thomas John Boyle in...
T. Coraghessan Boyle has a thing about survivalism and physical hardship. For his characters, battling the elements and wrestling a living from the cruel hand of nature is somehow intrinsic to their...
In “Achates McNeil,” one of the fine, vigorous short stories that make up T C. Boyle’s inviting new collection, the title character bears the burden of secondhand celebrity.