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DROP CITY [ISBN 0-670-03172-0]

© 2003 by T. Coraghessan Boyle
To be published in the U.S. February 24, 2003.

Dedication:  "For the sisters: Kathy, Linda, Janice and Christine"

Acknowledgments: "The author would like to thank Chuck Fadel, Jorma Kaukonen, Russell Timothy Miller, Alan Arkawy, and Jim Perry for their help and advice."

Epigraph:  "Think of our life in nature -- daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, --rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks!  the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense!  Contact!  Contact!  Who are we? where are we? -- Henry David Thoreau, "Ktaadn"

"Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god,
Wandering, wandering in hopeless night.
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars,
                         Out here we is stoned
--Jim Morrison, "Stoned Immaculate"

First published excerpt, "Marco Drops In", from L.A. Weekly, February 14-20, 2003.

Anft, Michael.  Only Children (review).  Wasington Post 27 February 2003.

Behe, Regis.  T.C. Boyle invites his readers to make their own conclusionsPittsburgh Tribune-Review 2 March 2003.

Blackburn, Doug.  Dropping In; Quintessential Californian T. Coraghessan Boyle, at UAlbany on Friday, was born and bred in the Hudson ValleyAlbany Times-Union 23 February 2003.

Charles, Ron.  Tune in, drop out: Trying to make a perfect society can be such a drag, man (review).  Christian Science Monitor 20 February 2003.

Freeman, John.  Hippies in '60s commune learn the power of Alaska (review).  Cleveland Plain Dealer 2 March 2003.

Garner, Dwight.  'Drop City': How Flower Power Went to Seed (review).  The New York Times Book Review  23 February 2003.

Gottlieb, Alan.  Boyle misfires in 'City'; 'Experiment' reveals mostly mixed results (review). The Denver Post  23 February 2003.

Greenblatt, Leah.  The Road to Utopia; Usually the sour misanthrope, T.C. Boyle is surprisingly generous with naive hippies lost in the wilds. Seattle Weekly 

Harris, Michael.  A realist depicts the groovy life (review).  The Los Angeles Times 23 February 2003.

Hoback, Jane.  Hippie Trip (review).  Rocky Mountain News  21 February 2003.

Kakutani, Michiko.  Taking on Wildness in Nature or People (review).  The New York Times 17 February 2003.

Keough, Peter.  Baked Alaska (review).  Boston Phoenix 20-27 February 2003.

Miller, Laura.  Drop City (review). 27 February 2003.

Miller, Pamela.  Drop City (review).  Minneapolis Star-Tribune 23 Frebruary 2003.

Morgan, Susan.  'Drop City' seductive trip back in time (review).  Anchorage Daily News 2 March 2003.

Partington, Richie.  Drop City (review).  Richie's Picks  27 October 2002.

Pray, Jackie.  Come to 'City' for cynicism, stay for subtlety (review).  USA Today 3 March 2003.

Roe, Andrew.  'The last truly free place'; A California commune heads to Alaska seeking the ultimate utopia (review).  San Francisco Chronicle  16 February 2003. <> 

Schwarzbaum, Lisa.  'Drop City' far out '70s nostalgia (review).  Entertainment Weekly 3 March 2003.

Seaman, Donna.   Drop City (review).  Booklist  1 December 2002.

Stoop.  Drop City (review).  Bookmunch <>

Zempter, Christy.  Meet the author A reader's writer, Boyle plays to his audienceColumbus Dispatch 27 February 2003.

"...this new book that I'm writing, Old Night, begins on a commune and deal(s) with the concept of free love." Old Night is set 30 years in the past, during the hippie period.

--from an interview with Thomas J. Brady, "EARTHLY DISASTER: A FICTION FOR 2025," published in the Philadephia Inquirer, 31 August 2000. 

"...Boyle spent two years after college hanging out with a druggy set. He's been thinking about that time lately, since his next novel is going to be set back in the 'hippie days,' questioning what it meant. 'The culture at the time seemed to encourage spontaneity. I thought it was cool at the time, but now I'm trying to answer the question, what is the value of hip? For a while it meant tearing down the values of the preceding generation, but what values did we create, really? I've been watching the World Series on TV, and from the advertisements it looks like we are right back in the Yuppie era. Unapologetic consumerism and the great American desire to gamble, which is of course satisfied by the stock market.' " 

--from an interview with Roger Gathman, Austin Chronicle, 10 November 2000.

From, News, December 14, 2001:

"The biggest news is with the new novel. You astute messagistas and casual visitors might have noticed that in recent messages I have referred to this book only as "the new novel," rather than by title. That is because, after much deliberation, I have changed the title from its original appellation, Old Night. The sixth and final section of the book retains the title "Old Night," and this is important because of the quote from Thoreau's "Ktaadn" that leads off that section and speaks to the themes of the book: "This was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night." I mention all this because the trade publications will soon announce the Viking Penguin (America) and Bloomsbury (UK) acquisitions of this book, and I didn't want everyone to think I'd written two new novels this year. Am I leaving anything out? Oh, yeah: the new title. The terrific, true and apposite title is (and please, you discerning and disputatious messagistas, do not argue relative merits of the titles without first having read the book): Drop City. The first section was titled "Drop City" in the original, and finally I felt that this title better encompassed the various threads of the book than Old Night. It's just a tad bit sexier too, and it refers to the hippie commune which forms the center of the novel. So that's it: when you see references to Drop  City, you'll know."--TCB

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Sandye Utley, Cincinnati, Ohio

Last Page Update: 24 February 2003