The 150-word Review: Nature’s ability to occasionally usurp modern mankind has been a major theme in T.C. Boyle’s oeuvre. Ever since a chimpanzee stole a man’s wife in “The Decent of Man,” Boyle has sought to remind us of our insignificance in the face of a merciless natural world. In “Drop City” Boyle returns to this notion via the unforgiving Alaskan interior.
Drop City is a commune, located along the Russian River in Northern California, that seems to embrace all of the capricious excesses of the waning counterculture and little else. When the deplorable sanitary conditions (and civic pressures) make Drop City uninhabitable, the gang moves their utopia north to Alaska, where they encounter another fringe community: a mostly-male menagerie of bush pilots, Vietnam vets, and modern transcendentalists. As the Alaskan winter looms, the peace-and-love platitudes are stripped bare and only the most basic human condition that has dominated for millennia remains: survival.
Having this book on your shelf will impress: Christopher McCandless, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, Henry David Thoreau, Les Stroud, and Thomas More.
This book will go great with: home-made wine and moose jerky.
Set the mood with: Truckin’ by The Greatful Dead.
Clavinism (stuff that will not make you look cool in a bar): Actually Norm, the “real” Drop City was located in Colorado from 1965 to 1968.