The Tortilla Curtain – Review

*unbezahlte Werbung*

Liebe Bücherwürmer!

Heute mal eine Rezension auf Englisch, da ich das Buch auf Englisch gelesen habe und wir für den Englischunterricht sowieso eine Review auf Englisch schreiben mussten. Schon mal vorab: Das Buch hat

2,25/5 Sterne

von mir bekommen. Warum? Lest einfach weiter, um es zu erfahren!

Euch noch einen schönen Tag!



Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered, sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: He is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine.

From the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

“The Tortilla Curtain” is a novel by Thomas Coraghessan Boyle which was published in 1995. The book is about an illegal immigrant from Mexico and an American who meet full of prejudices that lead to misunderstandings and racism.

The book is set in Los Angeles, CA in the USA in the mid-1990s. The main characters are Cándido, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, his much younger, pregnant wife América, Delaney, a middle-class American who writes environmentalist columns, and Kyra, his wife who works as a real estate agent.

At the beginning of the book, Delaney hits Cándido with his car and gives him money because he is afraid he might get sued because he hit Cándido. Cándido can’t find any work because he is injured and therefore he can’t gain money he and his wife need desperately because they camp in the woods and don’t have enough food or clothing.

T. C. Boyle likes to use many different words and due to that, the language is not that easy, but the reader can deduce the words through the context and that makes the language understandable.

It is noticeable that the author often lets his characters tell situations from different perspectives and that he often tells something instead of showing it (“Show, don’t tell!” is a principle writers use to make a text more interesting and less boring by showing the reader what they want to say instead of just describing it).

A thing I liked about the book was that the reader gets to know both sides of every encounter Delaney and Cándido have and you can understand how misunderstandings and prejudices arise, but it also makes the book more boring because the reader goes through many situations twice and he is told the stories and can’t witness it.

I didn’t like the end because it was too abrupt, so many things still had to be solved (what happens with Cándido and América after they got out of the mud, does Delaney overcome his racism because Cándido saved him, does Kyra buy the house?).

Also, the book was often boring, especially when it was Delaney’s or Kyra’s perspective because I couldn’t identify with them. For example Kyra wants sex when she is sad or stressed, she listens to meditation tapes with wave sounds to calm down, she gives her dogs weird names (Osbert and Sacheverell, who would call his dogs like that?) and she has a job where she always has to put on a smile and be nice and polite to the clients even if she doesn’t feel like that. About Delaney: I think the parts where he was talking about nature were boring, especially his columns, also I couldn’t really understand his racism but that was also due to misunderstandings so I knew how it really happened and that’s why I couldn’t understand him and I didn’t get why he suddenly changed his attitude towards the wall when he was with Kyra.

Also, I don’t get why the book had to be in three parts, why not just one? I liked the titles of the parts because you don’t understand the meaning in the beginning, but only later on in the part, but the author could have just made up a title for every chapter..

Apart from that, it was like the author didn’t want a happy ending for América and Cándido and kept on putting obstacles in their path, which was really annoying after a while.

Finally, racism is a difficult topic and although I can understand prejudices a bit better now, I don’t really like books with serious topics.

I would recommend this book to persons that find books about racism and the clash of different cultures interesting, but I wouldn’t recommend it in general to other persons because personally I did not really like it. The style of writing was neither thrilling nor captivating and I couldn’t empathize with the characters due to the style of writing, their characteristics and their decisions. That’s why I would give the book 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.

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