They were both expert in the social graces, quick with a sneer, able to manage a Ford with lousy shocks over a rutted and gutted blacktop road at eighty-five while rolling a joint as compact as a Tootsie Roll Pop stick. They could lounge against a bank of booming speakers and trade “man”s with the best of them or roll out across the dance floor as if their joints worked on bearings. They were slick and quick and they wore their mirror shades at breakfast and dinner, in the shower, in closets and caves. In short, they were bad.
When I ask for suggested stories, usually by a specific author, I get some good recommendations. It seems, though, that it takes a while for me to get around to reading them or I end up forgetting. So I thought I would try to read and post about a few that have been recommended to me in recent months.
The first one comes recommended by Short Story Magic Tricks. If you haven’t checked this blog out – you should. I have been looking for the T. C. Boyle story that was going to really blow me away. And I think “Greasy Lake” is the one. It’s definitely the best of Boyle’s stories that I’ve read so far and that’s not saying the others weren’t good. In addition to being good, they are also very funny. “Greasy Lake” definitely made me laugh the most.
Boyle writes this story with a brilliant contrast that accounts for so much of its comedy. The boys in the story may seem sinister and the story itself, set at Greasy Lake in the dark, has a sinister aspect to it, too. But the way Boyle sneaks in small details among the many descriptions of these “hoods”, like details of their pampered college life, starts the chuckles rolling and they don’t stop until the end.
Here are my other posts about T. C. Boyle stories: