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Extended Audio Sample After the Plague Audiobook, by T. C. Boyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (833 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. C. Boyle, T. Coraghessan Boyle Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2003 ISBN: 9781415911457
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Few authors in America write with such sheer love of story, language, and imagination as T.C. Boyle, and nowhere is that passion more evident than in his inventive, wickedly funny, and widely praised short stories. In After the Plague, his sixth collection of stories, Boyle exhibits his maturing themes, speaking to contemporary social issues in a range of emotional keys. The sixteen stories gathered here, nine of which have appeared in the New Yorker and three in The O’Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories volumes, display Boyle’s astonishing range as he rings his changes on everything from air rage (“Friendly Skies”) to abortion doctors (“Killing Babies”). There are also stories of quiet passion here, such as “The Love of My Life,” which deals with first love and its consequences, and “My Widow,” a touching portrait of the writer’s own possible future. The collection ends with the brilliant title story, a whimsical and imaginative vision of a disease-ravaged Earth and the few inheritors of a new Eden. Presented with characteristic wit and intelligence, these stories will delight readers in search of the latest news of the chaotic, disturbing, and achingly beautiful world in which we live.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This collection is uproarious and unforgiving: ‘She Wasn’t Soft,’ the title of one story, says it all. If Boyle finds dark humor in the lives of peeping toms, he also writes with tenderness about a widow waiting ‘for something she can’t name.’”

    New Yorker

  • “Boyle’s imagination and zeal for storytelling are in top form here, making this collection a smash.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “If you like Boyle, you won’t be able to resist.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Observant, empathic, and fresh, Boyle’s stories affirm literature’s vital and abiding role in our culture.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 2/10/2014

    " I am a longtime fan of the novels of T.C. Boyle, and he rarely disappoints. I wasn't exactly blown away by his previous collection of short stories, but there are some very impressive stories in this collection. Many people are of the opinion that his short stories are superior to his novels, and I'm beginning to come around to that view myself. Don't read After the Plague is you're looking for happy stories, though - most of these stories have rather depressing conclusions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Yaklin | 1/26/2014

    " some really good one here that will stick with you a long time "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 1/22/2014

    " Almost every character in this book of short stories is a complete jerk. From the body-fascist triathlete with no time for joy in her 2%-fat life, to her jackass stoner boyfriend who sabotages her greatest triumph with spiked Gatorade, this is not an escapist book. That's perfectly fine, but I don't find Boyle as affecting as others do. This book, like many postmodern collections, leaves me squeaky-clean, untouched by emotion. It didn't help that there were so few likeable characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Art | 1/19/2014

    " I hold Boyle to a higher standard than most writers because he has written some outstanding stories in the past. I really liked Termination Dust and The Black and White Sisters, but the rest seemed a little formulaic for Boyle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/15/2014

    " T.C. Boyle can sometimes be a little hit and miss with me. Sometimes I find his work too glib, too gimmicky, too chock full of descriptive words to have much impact. This particular collection I'm enjoying greatly, however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ha | 1/11/2014

    " i love the way T.C. Boyle has with the short story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myke Reiser | 1/11/2014

    " Great stories where ordinary people do violence. This rocked. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny K | 1/4/2014

    " TC Boyle is masterful at the short story. He is engaging, creates amazing characters and story lines and gives you the right amount of the story. It is amazing how quickly you become invested in the stories. Sometimes I wished that the stories would continue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan Hines | 12/4/2013

    " Favorite stories: Termination Dust, After the Plague. Those are the only two I can remember. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliette | 11/30/2013

    " Collection of dude short stories. Why can't he just let me have my happy ending just once? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 10/28/2013

    " Short stories by TC Boyle. Great introduction to his unique style. Covers just about every genre with these stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 10/21/2013

    " These stories are darker and less playful than his earlier stuff. The title story is the best, and one of the better treatments of the post-apocalyptic theme in any medium. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 10/14/2013

    " Not a big fan of short stories; however, I enjoyed reading almost all of these. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 10/13/2013

    " Excellent set of short stories. The author is really gracious, too. Our library book club is calling him at our next meeting to ask him some questions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica | 10/4/2013

    " "Termination Dust" and "My Widow" are two of my all-time favorite short stories. The master of killer endings... and beginnings, come to think of it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 1/15/2013

    " I was mostly just annoyed that every short story ended with predictably - but only because he had the habit of being "unpredictable" throughout. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 6/2/2012

    " Lame collection of stories with mostly male main characters and shrewish females. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Fields | 3/5/2012

    " Boyle is such an excellent storyteller. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ben | 11/21/2011

    " Horribly dark stories beautifully written. I found some of them almost unreadable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom/aka:Annette | 10/26/2011

    " Read these stories over a year at bedtime. TC Boyle is one of my favorite authors/ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 9/4/2011

    " What excellent stories, what a variety of characters! My first T.C. Boyle - and it won't be the last! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasia | 2/25/2011

    " Disappointing. Excellent writing skills, great literary techniques and yet - not many original thoughts. Found myself reading no more than 2 pages at the time - intellectually and emotionally empty.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 2/8/2011

    " Excellent set of short stories. The author is really gracious, too. Our library book club is calling him at our next meeting to ask him some questions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasia | 12/23/2010

    " Disappointing. Excellent writing skills, great literary techniques and yet - not many original thoughts. Found myself reading no more than 2 pages at the time - intellectually and emotionally empty.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 9/8/2010

    " What excellent stories, what a variety of characters! My first T.C. Boyle - and it won't be the last! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 7/22/2010

    " Favorite stories: Termination Dust, After the Plague. Those are the only two I can remember. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexis | 5/3/2010

    " Ugh. I loved Tortilla Curtain, but this short story collection was fairly ridiculous. The writing was beautiful, but the stories were utterly unrealistic. I barely made it to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 3/26/2010

    " This was a total train wreck of short stories - each was so awful and surprising, I couldn't bear to look away.

    Minus one star for a ridiculous final story. A bad ending to such a unique collection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliette | 1/25/2010

    " Collection of dude short stories. Why can't he just let me have my happy ending just once? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Art | 1/19/2010

    " I hold Boyle to a higher standard than most writers because he has written some outstanding stories in the past. I really liked Termination Dust and The Black and White Sisters, but the rest seemed a little formulaic for Boyle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 1/9/2010

    " Read these stories over a year at bedtime. TC Boyle is one of my favorite authors/ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 8/12/2009

    " The alternative Boyle starting place. Also stingingly funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 7/31/2009

    " some really good one here that will stick with you a long time "

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About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and World’s End, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written numerous short-story collections. He lives near Santa Barbara, California.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.