T.C. Boyle’s Talk, Talk is the Peggy Lee of novels – it leaves you asking, “Is that all there is?”
It’s the ending that’s disappointing, especially because Boyle’s takes the reader on a stomach-churning ride of anxiety and anger in the first couple of hundred pages. The opening, when the novel’s protagonist, Dana Halter, is hauled to jail, is particularly squirm inducing. It is Boyle’s skill at enlisting our identification with and sympathy for Dana, who is deaf, that makes his finish feel so incomplete. Cast in today’s psychobabble: There’s resolution, but not closure.
Dana is the victim of an especially pernicious form of identity theft that includes the theft of her “base identifiers.” In effect, the thief has adopted her identity as his own. An outraged Dana and her boyfriend, Bridger, track down the thief, following him as he flees from
Dana and Bridger ultimately confront the wayward Peck outside his mother’s home in upstate
But the conclusion, which the reader has been anticipating since the early pages of the novel, is flat and unsatisfying. Boyle mails this one in. I know that he can do better (see