Book Reviews of The Tortilla Curtain

The Tortilla Curtain
The Tortilla Curtain
Author: T. C. Boyle
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ISBN-13: 9780140238280
ISBN-10: 014023828X
Publication Date: 9/1/1996
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 182

3.4 stars, based on 182 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

41 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 450 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I lived in Topanga Canyon during the period described in this novel. Boyle hits all the right notes, describing the canyon and its denizens. A touching tale of moral ambiguities. Don't miss it.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Very well written and balanced story about illegal immigrants in Los Angeles, how they live and how they affect the lives of the Americans in the community. Very timely, excellent book.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This book is a must read - it brought understanding to much of the culture you don't see in a big city... eye-opening and real.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This book offers a fascinating glimpse at two completely different worlds that eventually collide. It is the story of two couples, one Mexican immigrant and the other Southern California yuppies. It was a riveting read, very difficult to put down.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Engaging & thought-provoking look at the contrasting and intersecting lives of two couples in California: one enjoying the privileges of life in the upper middle class, the other struggle to survive after crossing the border from Mexico without papers. Worth reading alongside the final section from Schlosser's (nonfiction) *Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market."
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is an very intresting look into the lives of two families on both sides of the imagration fence. I couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is the first T.C. Boyle book I read and I have more on the way. I loved the dark and humorous aspect of the writing.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
a contrast of lifestyles, the illegal living in the neighborhood of the liberal upscale families and the struggles of both
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is as relevant today as it was when written in 1996. Boyle is a great spinner of tales and this is a good one dealing with identity, immigration, fear of differences and protecting ones own turf. Great read.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 399 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read THE TORTILLA CURTAIN for the May 2015 pick in my neighborhood book club.

And what a dank, dreary and depressing book it is! I could never recommend it.

It started off interestingly enough with a white man accidentally running over a Mexican man in the street, giving him $20 and continuing on his way. It wasn't really his fault, the Mexican didn't want any help and barely spoke any English. But then it goes off into their individual stories (one depressing development after another, illustrating that while they were socioeconomically as different as can be, the two were much more alike than they were different) before having them cross paths again in the end for a depressingly washed out finish! Quite literally.

I give this book a C-. I found much of it easily skimmable. The narrative lacked any real focus and basically rendered itself pointless despite the point it apparently tried to make. Meh.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Probably does slant a lot toward the liberal perspective, but I felt that except for the end, it was a very realistic satire with an important message. Very quick, addictive read. The book that introduced me to the wonderful world of T.C. Boyle.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A good read that tells the story from both sides of the issue of Mexican illegals working in Topanga Canyon. Interesting, timely, provocative.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book reminded me of the movie Crash, because it gets behind the eyes of people who are very different from each other. I loved this book
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book while recovering from surgery, a time when it was hard to focus on reading....and this book did the trick as far as holding my attention and keeping me focused. It was a very engaging and thoroughly thought provoking look at social issues surrounding illegal immigration in Southern California. Told with compassion and also a biting satirical voice, this book is a must read for anyone interested in living an examined life while up against moral dilemmas put on out collective plates at this time in our evolution as sharers of the planet Earth.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
classic boyle. loved it, and have read it twice.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of T.C. Boyle in general, so highly recommend all his books. Especially enjoyed "A Friend of the Earth" and "Budding Prospects".
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't read the book line for line. I had to skip parts as it was too disturbing. A sad tale of immigrants. I couldn't finish it fast enough just to end the book. The yuppie couple was more entertaining than the immigrants. The immigrants went through some horrific times. Did not enjoy the book at all.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 127 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Intense story of two different worlds exsiting in LA.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found the book entertaining but mostly a tale of stupidity and unrealistic at times. Rich white yuppies and an illegal immigrant who comes to the U.S. with some poor 17 year old pregnant girl. She was the only character in book I felt sympathy for. The author should note that police do not ever fire warning shots, state police do not arrest illegal immigrants (this is the crux of the controversial new law in Arizona). The poor immigrant couple in reality would never had to live in the bushes and medicare care has always been available. Medical personnel do not turn them in. The immigrant man does one dumb thing after another getting him and the poor girl in more trouble. The wealthy yuppies were the most entertaining part of the book. The ending was dumb.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book - my #1 read for the year.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. As i live in the Midwest I do not have immigration as a major issue on my daily life. This book shows both sides of this issue in such a way that I had the hardest time ever putting the book down. Wonderful writing.

The ending is odd. That's all I'll say. But it didn't ruin the rest of the book for me.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was heartbreaking and engrossing. The story of an immigrant couple and an American couple and how empathy is finally discovered after tragedy. I recommend it.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Boyle seems more focused on using an advanced vocabulary than on building interest in a story. Much like previous Boyle books that I have read, it takes close to half the book for you to become interested in the characters. Once he has your interest he take the story lines so over the top that it's not enjoyable to read. The end of the book is relief, only because it's over, not because of the outcome. Dreary, bleak and miserable.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very, very good. The book is dealing with very real and current issues. Extremely well written and you become one with the characters.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 38 more book reviews
Liked this book.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 68 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book and the way Boyle framed the conflict between wealthy Americans and Mexican immigrants against the evolutionary struggle between animals for space in an ecosystem. The characters were interesting,convincing and the style was lively.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Seems to be an appropriate topic in these political times. (An "Atlas Shrugged" about immigration issues). Both sides are presented in a way that is not black and white. The universal theme of love, compassion and moral responsibility has to be considered by the reader. The author portrays the individual and not just the race. The dichotomy involved with so many aspects of the political spectrum that illegals are faced with is presented in such a simple and realistic way that I believe will touch and trouble everyone that reads this book.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 2 more book reviews
My husband had to read this book for his college English class. He thought it was okay.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 204 more book reviews
T.C. Boyle is one of those rare and unusual writers, you really have to experience him. This is a story about a liberal affluent couple in Southern California that has a close encounter with another couple who are illegal immigrants from Mexico. I recommend it to my friends frequently -- it's not your standard story.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 18 more book reviews
I was 90 pages into this book before it became interesting and was no longer deathly boring. I can honestly say that I have no idea what it is about. It is supposedly about the American Dream, but mostly it's about the lives of two couples and illegal immigration. I would not recommend it, especially to animal lovers such as myself.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 17 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book very much
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 636 more book reviews
A very intriguing story - honestly more a piece of literature than just a story. It had resounding characters that you pity, but don't identify with (or at least I didn't).

The opening car accident reeled me in and that's what the whole rest of the book felt like: a car accident.

Overall, I liked it, but it's definitely the type of book that would be nice to talk to someone about. Although I don't really know that I would loosely recommend it, as it is certainly not light reading, But I did think it was written better than _The Inner Circle_.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on
Excellent book.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 88 more book reviews
Clearly drawn parallel stories of yuppie LA couple and Mexican migrant workers. Neither one is very likeable and the amount of venom in the descriptions made me stop reading before I finished.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 16 more book reviews
I really enjoyed reading this book but the end left me wanting more closure.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 5166 more book reviews
A bit too in-your-face. Sounds like a white liberal writing about Mexicans.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on
This may be my new favorite author!!! I loved this book. It is incredibly well written and kept me turning the pages to see what happens next. There is such a great blend of humor and reality as we see the clash of two totally opposite lifestyles.. The tofu-eating environmentalist and the poor Mexican and his wife just struggling to survive... A great story by a very talented author.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 20 more book reviews
Not my favorite of Boyle's work, but still a good read.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 33 more book reviews
I have always liked Boyle's writing. This one is breathtakingly good. The difference between the haves and have not has been so well shown. I give it 5 stars.
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reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 205 more book reviews
i really enjoyed this book till I got 3/4 through it and by the time I got to the end I was thoroughly disappointed. It is a timely discussion, all about illegal immigration and that is what drew me to it. The basic premiss, I felt, was that its not good for anyone involved. I just think the book was very predictable and the author didnt quite know how to end it.
reviewed The Tortilla Curtain on + 35 more book reviews
This book grabbed me from start to finish, couldn't put it down. It may be 20 years old, but oh so relevant to our current times.