A FRIEND OF THE EARTH opens in the year 2025, as Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tidewater ekes out a bleak living in southern California, managing a rock star's private menagerie. Global warming is a reality. The biosphere has collapsed and most of the major mammalian species are extinct. Once Ty was so seriously committed to environmental causes that he became an ecoterrorist and convicted felon. Once he unwittingly endangered both his daughter, Sierra, and his wife, Andrea. Now when he's just trying to survive, Andrea comes back into his life. What happens as the two slip into a reborn involvement makes for a gripping and topical story told in Boyle's uniquely funny and serious voice.
The year is 2025, and global warming is a catastrophic reality; most mammalian species are extinct. Tyrone Tierwater looks back to the late 1980s, when he first predicted that disaster would happen. Although it was his activist wife, Andrea, who initially goaded him into joining the ecoterrorist group Earth Forever!, Tyrone and his daughter Sierra quickly surpassed Andrea in their commitment to monkeywrenching. Tyrone was repeatedly arrested for criminal trespass and the destruction of property and ended up spending years in prison. Meanwhile, Andrea advanced in the movement's leadership council, and when her husband's antics threatened her position, she quickly divorced him. In retrospect, Tyrone realizes that history's having proven him right offers little solace for a wasted life. In his new work, Boyle (Riven Rock) mercilessly skewers developers and environmentalists alike; clearly, developers have trashed the planet, but Boyle also shows that Tierwater's monkeywrenching is partly destruction for its own sake, and Earth Forever! is more interested in protecting its own bureaucracy than the environment. Even Mother Nature comes in for a drubbing, as when a wealthy rock star is eaten by one of the animals in his private zoo. What results is powerful satire that rethinks the basic premises of Edward Abbey's classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, arguing that there are no quick and easy solutions. This book shows Boyle maturing from a glib comedic talent to a more serious novelist. Recommended for most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]--Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\