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To paraphrase John McCain, some hippie must have shot T.C. Boyle’s dog. In his latest, Drop City, the noted author of nine novels milks a commune fulla of not-so-innocents for every last tuned-out cliché. Then, in a move Richard Nixon might have been able to pull off had he the ’nads of Joseph Stalin, Boyle ships his survivors north to Alaska, where they learn what it’s really like to live off the land. The book holds clever moments and certainly some satisfying comeuppances, but nothing that quite gets Drop City over the watch-the-stinky-hippie-squirm bar. Still, it’s fun to watch Boyle twist his ever-eloquent knife. The author reads at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Club Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 638-7610. (Mike Kanin)