Friday, April 1, 2011

When the Killing's Done

by T. C. Boyle

384 pages

When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle (Tortilla Curtain, The Women) looks at all sides of the issues of animal conservacy and animal rights woven into the lives of people on opposite sides of the issue. The setting is the Channel Islands off the coast of California. Due to man's interference by the introduction of many invasive species (rats, sheep, pigs) over generations, the native populations are stressed. Alma Boyd Takesue, a National Park Service biologist, is involved in exterminating the non-native species in order to return Anacapa and Santa Cruz to their native state and to let the foxes, birds, and flora thrive again. Dave LaJoy, an environmental activist, believes no animal should be killed, and he's willing to go to extremes to prevent the Park Service from achieving its goal with escalating scenes of sabatoge.

I love books that allow us to see both sides of an issue and to challenge our beliefs and opinions. T.C. Boyle does just that. One of his earlier books, Tortilla Curtain, was especially good looking at both sides of the issue of illegal immigration. I don't think this book quite lives up to Tortilla Curtain but it is very good, and I recommend it.

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