This was the first book I have ever read by T.C. Boyle and will probably not be my last. The Tortilla Curtain explores the tension of immigration trends in southern California, the consumerist nature of the American Dream and also a number of environmental issues. Pack that in with a heavy dose of biblical Job-like tragedy and you are looking at the perfect storm of bad events that befall the main characters. There were a few moments where I thought the course of tragic events was a bit too tragic. Afterall, I like a little redemption or hope in the books I read. Despite the fact that hope was apparently not on Boyle's mind, this story was gripping, and the characters' emotional conflicts were fascinating. The fact that the story explored a major hot topic in the upcoming election made it even more interesting to me. The writing flew off the page, so much so that I'll be looking for another Boyle book soon...perhaps just one that is not 100% tragedy.