Picks and Pans Review: Drop City
Literary prankster Boyle cuts down on the punch lines but amps up his deliriously inventive way with words in this gorgeously crafted epic about flower children on the run. In 1970 California, LSD-fueled peaceniks Star, Pan and Marco, who have set up a free-love triangle, are getting hassled by The Man after a car accident. So they take their patchouli to Alaska, only to be shunned by their moose-hunting new neighbors.
Boyle's wow-'em style reaches hallucinatory levels in a black comedy that gets darker by the page. But the author who provided such sinister laughs in 1993's The Road to Wellville this time uses his vast talents to make us squirm rather than chuckle. The way this heartbreaking tale so beautifully tells it, no matter where you hide or how many drugs you take, you can never escape the cold, greedy side of human nature. (Viking, $25.95)
BOTTOM LINE: What a long, great trip it is
Page-turner of the week