Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{read: fiction} When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle

If you've never given a thought to what happens to the steaks, chicken legs, and pork roasts before they end up neatly trussed and packaged in your supermarket, I'd encourage you to pick up When the Killing's Done. This novel explores what rights animals have and whether humans should interfere with nature to protect native species and the environment, even when it means the mass murder of another species.

The two main characters who butt heads over this last issue (Alma Takesue, a National Park Service biologist who wants to preserve the environment at any cost, and Dave LaJoy, an animal rights activist opposed to the murder of animals) bring to life the tough choices that people face once they start to think about these kinds of issues. Once you know, you can't not know.

In the end, Dave comes up with a creative solution to thwart Alma's plans. Without giving the ending away, I think that it creates a sense of balance with a hint of irony. Although the history and descriptions were a little long-winded in the beginning, the plot picked up speed as the book went along. I enjoyed the story and the way it brought to life the issue of animal rights.

When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle (Viking, 2011)
My rating: 3 stars

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