We’ve heard this story before. Compared with Boyle’s big hitters such as The Road to Wellville and The Tortilla Curtain, his new novel is rather a slow, colourless read. Guy and Aimee’s relationship is barely sketched in and no one has much of a backstory. In fact, this book pales into forgettability compared with the blog Boyle has been publishing on his website throughout lockdown from his home in California, which has been the most funny, kind, entertaining and truthful Covid companion out there.
Still, it’s comforting in itself to find that this literary old-timer is still rocking, still rolling down the road. This steadily prolific writer and teacher is like the grandfather clock in the hall: the idea of it stopping is horrible, even if it’s not as useful as it once was.