Drop City

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Drop City is a novel of the American writer TC Boyle from 2003 in which the story of a hippie - municipality , which is told in 1970 by California to Alaska moved. The book was translated into German by Werner Richter.



actually Paulette Regina Starr, worked in (fictional) Peterskill, New York as a primary school teacher in the same school as her mother and lived with her parents. The recurring comment from third parties about how much she resembles her mother increasingly frustrates her. When she meets her old school friend Ronnie again one day, she takes that as an opportunity to get out .


Marco Connell, after initially vying with Ronnie for Star's heart, is her friend for most of the book. He takes on responsibility from the start and tries to be one of the few problems that arise. Marco's philanthropic worldview does not prevent him from using physical violence. His character is the link between trapper and hippie, which makes him the first point of contact for Sess and the most important member of the community in Alaska.


actually Ronnie Sommers, from Peterskill, got by with various McJobs after high school and slipped into the drug scene. With Star, he flees to California from heroin , from which several friends have already died, and from his parents, with whom he lives but whom he detests. Ronnie is the hedonistic counterpart to Marco , especially when it comes to soliciting stars' favor .


Drop City is made up of two storylines moving towards each other that merge about halfway through the book. The main thread tells the story of the eponymous community Drop City in California, which has around 60 members. Every dropout is welcome, life shaped by drugs, promiscuity and the attempt to live in harmony with nature. Every day is a single party, everything is shared. The men are known as freaks and the women as brides. However, the community suffers from tension due to the uneven distribution of the work involved, leading to hygiene and supply problems. The group is also divided and not all share the peace-loving approaches. When the eviction is imminent one day, the community decides to move to Alaska, where their guru Norm Sender has inherited a piece of land.

At the same time, the story of the Alaskan trapper Sess Harder is told, who finds his dream woman and marries her. In Alaska these two different societies now meet, conflicts arise, but also friendships.


“Not pop, but art, cutting sharp, but full of subtle subtlety that opens up once you have overcome the superficial tension. TC Boyle can do both - analyze and entertain. "

“Hardcore fans of Tom Coraghessan Boyle may find this ... novel too serene, the hint of a happy ending in winter Christmas even as a betrayal of the usual apocalypse ... Boyle has one eye on utopia, the other on reality. He could squint and shoot past. Great American art of meeting both. "

“Boyle's strength is his dialectical portrayal of the struggle of outsiders who either invade society or want to leave it at all costs ... A writer who, like Boyle, gives us such a book every eight years, must be counted among the great. "


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Nature boy beats nature lover. In: FAZ. September 6, 2003, No. 207, p. 44. - Review
  2. ULRICH SONNENSCHEIN: Trappers, Hippies ... In: Frankfurter Rundschau. November 26, 2003. - Review
  3. Hey, what's up? In: The time. October 30, 2003. - Review