Archive for December, 2021

Review: Talk To Me

Sunday, December 5th, 2021

I picked up Talk To Me hoping to see what I love about T. Coraghessan Boyle’s writing and I got exactly what I was hoping for. He is a very talented and popular author whose work I really enjoy.

Boyle is a consummate plotter and writes beautifully and expressively. He has a keen sense of humor and a penchant for quirky topics. All of that delights me, but it’s not what fascinates me.

What fascinates me is that he writes with more empathy than almost any author I’ve read. Specifically, he regularly takes a character from the modern zeitgeist who seems heinous and writes about them in a way that makes the reader understand how they could commit the horrible acts that brought them to the public eye. He has a skill for making you understand them without supporting them. It’s a powerful superpower.

In Talk To Me he brings it to bear on a range of characters from chimpanzee language researchers like the folks who claim to have taught a gorilla to communicate with humans using sign language and the sorts of folks in Tiger King. There is all sorts of behavior going on that would be hard to swallow in a headline, but seems natural in Boyle’s hands. It’s also compelling, thought provoking and has a unique vibe.

Strongly Recommended.