The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle-eBook coverTitle: The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Satire, and #62 in Contemporary Fiction, Urban

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1996

Source: Free download BookBub

Title and Cover: The Tortilla CurtaineBook cover attracted my attention (prefer it to the paperback version below)–thought it would interest hubby–this is his review.

This book has been around more than twenty years and certainly long enough that there are more than sufficient synopses. So at this point, I must assume the literary crowd is familiar with the setting in the beautiful but fragile ecology of the Topanga Canyon of Southern California. This scenario situates two couples on a course designed to slap your senses into a new mindset. The classic style Greek pathos novel grasps the very soul of society and squeezes so tightly I came close to declaring a DNF more than once. No getting around it–this is a very difficult book.

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle - paperback coverProgressive liberal Los Angeles couple Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher are living their American Dream in the Arroyo Blanco Estates, a newly gated hilltop community. Kyra is a successful realtor, her husband a naturalist, writer. Mexican illegals Cándido and América Rincon have fought their way to the base of the canyon where they’ve set up a rustic camp and the goal is to keep from starving. América is 17 and pregnant. Driving his Lexus up the steep canyon road, Delaney hits Cándido, which begins the clash of the two couples living in proximity but light years apart in opportunity and privilege.

As the affluent residents of the community wrestle with the coyote’s pursuit of their pocket dogs, tofu, and the sale of the next mansion, the illegals grapple with staying warm and dry, and because of the injuries suffered in the collision with the Lexus, Cándido cannot work. América is now considered their source of funds but lacks any English.

This novel plots immigrant worker Cándido who has crossed the border several times and sent money to Mexico to support his family. Following a trip back home, he and América are robbed and beaten at the border and go north penniless. We are a liberal welcoming and sympathetic society until the disadvantaged want to live next to us. Labor from south of the border is necessary to our way of lives, inconvenient to be housed and live around, though the cheap labor is an advantage, creating the mind-numbing conundrum.

Delaney struggles with his compassion for the situation, which is offset by his irritation at the labor pools around vacant buildings and the mess he finds while on his forays into the woodlands for research of his nature articles. The twists and turns in the novel remind me of my life in California and the internal shame felt when I see so much of myself in the main character.

While the dialogue generally felt natural, it also included many phrases of Mexican slang. The mutual protagonists, both Delaney and Cándido illicit empathetic emotions, both understanding their feelings at the same time as being censored. Kyra exhibited all the impressions of an alpha-female, successful and independent, not as fully developed, more of a two-dimensional character. The catastrophic lives of Cándido and América almost became a fictionalized caricature.

The conclusion demonstrates the humanity borne of most persons of any background and in this case of Cándido by compassion towards Delaney.  This is a very thought-provoking and introspective tale. Unusual genre for me, brilliantly written, though I found little satire here more than tragedy. This eBook was a free download from BookBub. I can recommend as still a very topical, hot-button issue with a new eye into understanding.

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

T C BoyleThe Author: (From Amazon Author page) T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World’s End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.

T C Boyle - author(From Goodreads Author page) T. Coraghessan Boyle (also known as T.C. Boyle, born Thomas John Boyle on December 2, 1948) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Since the late 1970s, he has published eleven novels and more than 60 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988 for his third novel, World’s End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York. He is married with three children. Boyle has been a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California since 1978, when he founded the school’s undergraduate creative writing program. He grew up in the small town on the Hudson Valley that he regularly fictionalizes as Peterskill (as in widely anthologized short story Greasy Lake). Boyle changed his middle name when he was 17 and exclusively used Coraghessan for much of his career, but now also goes by T.C. Boyle. ©2018 C E Williams the CE

Author: Rosepoint Publishing

I am the granddaughter of Patrick John "Stanley McShane" Rose whose books including "Cocos Island Treasure" I've recently published. My time is now spent in reading, reviewing, and writing bookish articles. I'm looking forward to sharing this social media odyssey with you!

4 thoughts on “The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview”

  1. I saw this book on Bookbub as well and downloaded a sample. I definitely appreciated this review and what you wrote echoes what I thought it might be like. Hopefully I will get to reading it… it’s on the TBR… 😉


    1. Thank you for the comment. Hubby read it, noted it was a very tough read, and almost DNF a couple times. Still, when he finished said the writing style was that good (that he didn’t). I was surprised it had actually been published so long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

I love comments, ideas, and sharing. I will respond to you shortly!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Let's talk

Vibe alone for a while

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

RealStuff by RealMe

Before, After, Then, Now and NEVER!

Islamic Dua and Wazifa For Love back and Solve All problems

Love problem Solution in just 2 Days: Lost love back, ex love back, ex husband back, ex boyfriend and other all love problem Solution. Call and Whatsapp +91 9571300113

Poetic reflections

Poetry and expression of ideas

Julia's Bookshelves

Book Reviews, Reccomendations, & Travel

Book Reviews, Tags, Vlogs, & More.


I read, rant and write ;)



Beneath The Bones

seeking inspiration

Learning Thursdays

It takes strength to show vulnerability!


Becoming Unstuck



Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy


Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses


I'm a Doctor with so many random thoughts, so I decided to blog.

Scott Clark | Teaching, Writing, Research

Portal to primary school blogs, research and resources | Middle Years/Young Adult story writing


a medical education website

Endless dreams and boundless imaginations!

We only live once. Hence, let's not stop dreaming


book reviews

Competitive World

Your Competitive Exam Companion

News from Ibonoco

Moments de vie, fragments de textes et quelques notes...

Poet The Mirror

Poetry My Religion

Foster Your Writing

Write Like You Know What You're Doing

A Lifetime of Pages

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ~C.S. Lewis


Author of Paranormal Suspense


Food, Road Trips & Notes from the Non-Profit Underground


The best longform stories on the web


This site is about the knowledge of different categories such as education, , health, mobiles, and tourism


A little bit of everything

Yolanda och hennes kreativa skrik

Aspergers syndrom, bipolaritet, fotografi, konst, poesi.

City Of Brides (Dating Single Ukrainian Girls)

Meet your beautiful Ukrainian bride in the "City of Brides"

Trust and Believe In The Unseen

Live with More Light & Faith by CM.

Tel-Aviv's feral cats

Videos of feral cats on the streets, and my own four feral felines at home, feline humor, advice, and gifts for your cat.


You read it, you love it!

%d bloggers like this: