The Boyle Binge continues with World’s End, his 1988 Pen/Faulkner winner about generations of Dutch immigrants in the Hudson River Valley. At this point, it’s pretty easy to recognize Boyle’s recurring themes–living of the land, exploitation, the selfishness of dreamers, and so forth–but while this is a worthwhile read, I think his prose and plotting has grown a lot stronger since this early success. He’s still typically verbose but not quite as deft yet as the later books I’ve read. Much of the “inevitability of history” stuff here seems more than a little forced, but it’s still sick fun when Walter van Brunt loses his feet.
Maybe I’m ready for a Boyle Break now.