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Download The Tortilla Curtain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Tortilla Curtain, 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 (12,713 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. C. Boyle Narrator: T. C. Boyle Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this explosive and timely novel, T. C. Boyle explores an issue that is at the forefront of the political arena. He confronts the controversy over illegal immigration head-on, illuminating through a poignant, gripping story the people on both sides of the issue: the haves and the have-nots.

In Southern California’s Topanga Canyon, two couples live in close proximity and yet are worlds apart. High atop a hill overlooking the canyon, nature writer Delaney Mossbacher and his wife, real estate agent Kyra Menaker-Mossbacher, reside in an exclusive, secluded housing development with their son, Jordan. The Mossbachers are agnostic liberals with a passion for recycling and fitness. Camped out in a ravine at the bottom of the canyon are Cándido and América Rincón, a Mexican couple who have crossed the border illegally. On the edge of starvation, they search desperately for work in the hope of moving into an apartment before their baby is born. They cling to their vision of the American dream, which, no matter how hard they try to achieve it, manages to elude their grasp at every turn.

A chance, violent encounter brings together Delaney and Cándido, instigating a chain of events that eventually culminates in a harrowing confrontation. The novel shifts back and forth between the two couples, giving voice to each of the four main characters as their lives become inextricably intertwined and their worlds collide. The Rincóns’ search for the American dream, and the Mossbachers’ attempts to protect it, comprise the heart of the story. In scenes that are alternately comic, frightening, and satirical, but always all “too real,” Boyle confronts not only immigration but social consciousness, environmental awareness, crime, and unemployment in a tale that raises the curtain on the dark side of the American dream.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lays on the line our national cult of hypocrisy. Comically and painfully he details the smug wastefulness of the haves and the vile misery of the have-nots.”

    Barbara Kingsolver, bestselling author of The Bean Trees

  • “A book to appreciate as we peer at the faces of strangers outside our windows and wall ourselves in.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A compelling story of myopic misunderstanding and mutual tragedy.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A rich and moving novel about the price of the American dream by America’s most imaginative contemporary novelist.”


  • “T. C. Boyle’s intimate connection to this story provides the precise character interpretation necessary for a high-energy and entertaining performance. His inclination for sarcasm, humor, and a wide range of emotions illuminates the turmoil behind a complicated national issue.” 


  • “Boyle manages to address...issues in a nonjudgmental fashion, depicting the vast inequity in [the characters’] parallel existences. This highly engaging story subtly plays on our consciences, forcing us to form, confirm, or dispute social, political, and moral viewpoints...This is a profound and tragic tale.”


  • Winner of the Audie Award for Best Narration by the Author
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 1997 Prix Médicis Étranger Literary Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cinda MacKinnon | 2/7/2014

    " A wonderful story by an accomplished writer. This is his best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dave | 2/5/2014

    " The most teachable book about the challenges and tragedy of immigration that I have encountered. An insightful look at perspective, it manipulates the reader's attitude throughout. At times it could dig deeper and at other times it's a little forced, but still definitely worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mara Sanchez | 2/1/2014

    " This book may be why I don't read any more T.C. Boyle books. He writes so well, but his endings are crap, especially in this book. It's so disappointing to get to the end of a book that you've put all this time in to and come away unsatisfied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook | 2/1/2014

    " After this year's discovery of the long drug smuggling underground tunnel between Mexico and the USA, the very violent drug cartel wars of the border towns and cities, and my constant exposure to my fellow Mexican Paisanos for whom I do medical Interpretations, this book hit home in a way that few books do. It was an underbelly punch that had me gasping for air throughout the entire book and hoping for the best each time the parallel lives between the Gabachos and the Ilegales collided. If anything, this book is a fictitious account of a horrific reality that happens every day in this our USA. I applaud Mr. Boyle for writing such a gripping and real account of these two worlds. I recommend it highly and hope many more Americans read it and open their eyes to another way of looking at life and perhaps lend a hand to remedy the situation. 355 pgs. "

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