26

MONDAY

Love him or hate him, T.C. Boyle’s got range. Last year’s Drop City saw his mad skillz get away from him, Dead-dancing into a fantasy that nearly reached acid-flashback-cliché proportions. On the other hand, novels don’t get much better than 1998’s Riven Rock, the story of an institutionalized sex maniac, his doctors, his caretakers, and his wife. Jesus, that shit was impressive. But Boyle’s perhaps at his finest when crafting short stories, as in his latest collection, Tooth and Claw. Free to inhabit any world he chooses—and too confined by the genre to spiral into madness—the author presents each story as a gift entirely deserving of being told. And he makes you believe it, too, through rich details, a knack for storytelling in any milieu, and an unfailing respect for his characters and the crazy—and even mundane—things they do. Boyle reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books and Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (Anne Marson)