I'm a huge fan of TC Boyle. Two of his books -- The Inner Circle and Tortilla Curtain -- are among my five favorites. And I've liked just about everything he's written. Until his latest, The Women. I don't think it's a bad book. Boyle's writing is solid, as usual and it certainly has some of Boyle's screwball moments. The Women is a fictional re-telling of Frank Lloyd Wright's love life through the eyes of the four women he loved, lost, left, etc. The book's narrator is a fictional Japanese architect student who serves as Wright's apprentice for several years, and the book is littered with footnotes, giving it a "historical feel." Wright, in real life, was certainly a character, one worthy of the Boyle treatment. But I found little compelling about the female characters and eventually the put the book down halfway through.
That all said, TC Boyle is a wonderful talent. Barbara Kingsolver once wrote that what "Boyle does, and does well, is lay on the line our national cult of hypocrisy." My nonexpert opinion is that he's one of the most gifted writers of the last few decades. So if you heed my blog post and avoid The Women, please take the time to pick up one of his numerous other books -- all of which I highly recommend.