I Walk Between The Raindrops: Stories by T.C. Boyle

Now- suddenly, wonderfully- purpose had come back into her life.

I was hooked by T.C. Boyle’s latest collection of stories, while they aren’t all uplifting and happy, in fact they are often unsettling, the tales have characters behaving, feeling as non-fictional people do . Yes, it can be terrible, but it’s genuine. The quote I used is from the story I enjoyed the most, The Apartment. In it, a ‘spritely French woman’ of ninety years of age (Madame C.) has an apartment that many would covet, but no, not the man who desires it. The woman, surely, is nearing the end of her life with no one to leave it to and wouldn’t it just be perfect for his family? Their own apartment is “too small to contain his growing daughters”, so he makes a proposal, one that his wife grows to hate. We all know how plans go awry, and in my mind the blessed Madame C. has a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. It also had me thinkin about the idea of what we deserve and what we get. Life doesn’t always follow the expected path, the order we assume it should.

SCS 750 is a nightmare story for me personally, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but it’s not a farfetched idea at all. The horror is a credit system that benefits all the good citizens, and technology based on facial-recognition, I think people know where this is going. There is a government based social credit system in a certain country now that comes to mind. The Shape of a Teardrop is a hell of a story, about parents, their responsibilities, adulthood, failure to thrive, and the undeniable hypocrisy of the “victim”. It plucked my emotions, darn it! There is a tale about a cruise and Covid19, I honestly try to stay away from any fictional book about the pandemic as I have Covid19 burnout, I imagine many people feel the same, but The Thirteenth Day was an interesting perspective, also rotten to imagine. I can feel the mounting panic those contained and restricted go through, the hopelessness and fear. This collection has stories that are hallucinatory, futuristic, absurd and tender too (I’m thinking of Dog Lab), oh my little dog loving heart! It was refreshing to read stories that aren’t run-of-the-mill, ugh here I go using idioms, sorry. Walking between the raindrops metaphorically, you aren’t getting wet, you are dodging the hardships if you apply it to life, no? Interesting title, I Walk Between the Raindrops, because the characters are trying to avoid obstacles, the dirt of life, but often failing. The book has been described as witty, biting satire, and inventive, it really is. Yes, read it!

Published September 13, 2022

Ecco

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