The first T.C. Boyle I read was The Tortilla Curtain and that was back in 2001. I enjoyed it and was looking forward to this one.
After a slow start I began to get into the groove of the novel and I just finished reading the last hundred pages this evening.
Basically the story is about ancestors and their modern-day counterparts and how things do not change. Also here history repeats itself.
‘World’s End’ opens up with Walter Van Brunt losing his foot. Later on we find out that his ancestors settled in The Hudson Valley in the 17th century and were cursed. As Walter starts to discover that his family (including himself) were a bunch of dishonest cheaters, he does nothing but resign to his fate. Also the ruling family in the 17th century were the Van Warts, who also dominate Walter and his family. By the end of the novel past, present and future are all entwined and each character succumbs to the same destiny that befell them three hundred years ago.
At times the novel reminded me of a more intelligent version of ‘The Crow’s Road’ However Boyle’s writing style, at least in this book, reminded me of a more digestible Pynchon. But on the whole I liked but you do need a bit of time to get used to it.