T.C. Boyle discusses "The Lie" in movies

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:29pm EST
 
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By Jordan Riefe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - T. Coraghessan Boyle has been entertaining readers for more than 30 years with such books as "Water Music" and "World's End," winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

An ardent movie fan, Boyle's work has seldom been transferred to the big screen, with the exception of "The Road to Wellville" and now "The Lie," based on his short story of the same name about a man who tells a small lie to get out of work one day and it snowballs into a big problem.

The movie opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, and Boyle, 62, spoke to Reuters about it, his uniquely dour outlook on the world and the real-life battle between man and machine.

Q: In "The Lie," the main character Lonnie does some bad things but he isn't a bad guy.

A: "You sympathize with the guy because he married too young and he's going nowhere and he's pissed off and he regrets that. And he looks back on the day before he settled down and had a band and possibilities and things are good. And so there's sympathy in that way, but he's wrong and he's hard-core and he does something pretty despicable."

Q: Have you ever told a lie that gets as big and as potentially disastrous as the one Lonnie tells in the book?

A: "I make my living telling lies. Everything I do is a lie. It's an artistic lie, a story, an invention. That's how I live. The reason that we make art and love art is because the real world is out of control, utterly random and there's absolutely no purpose to human life. So what we do is we create our own scenario in our own world. When asked this question about why my characters suffer so much, it's because I'm the god of my own world and by god they're going to suffer! That's my pleasure."

Q: In the United States, reading has dropped off among young people due to video games and other emerging technology. Can you be hopeful about the future of American literature?   Continued...