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T.C. Boyle showed up to last night's opening Vegas Valley Book Festival keynote wearing a -- whaaa? -- maraschino cherry-red suit. The choice made sense when he began his reading. More than just an achingly vibrant writer, he's just as vibrant a storyteller, and last night at UNLV's student union theater, he read -- no, theatrically delivered -- his short story, "The Lie," originally published in 2008 in The New Yorker. We're talking audiobook-worthy, consummate-raconteur material here.
"The Lie" tells the story of Lonnie, a slacker film editor who lies to his boss to get a few days off work. He tells his boss his child is sick, but that lie compounds, swells and eventually metastasizes into a toxic force. And like the best of T.C. Boyle's fiction, it's simultaneously cutting, bleak and hilarious.
If you missed the reading, you can read the original story here in The New Yorker. And for just a glimmer of Boyle's presence and delivery, here's his recent interview on "KNPR's State of Nevada."
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