Bulletproof -- reviewed by Mimi Carmen
This should have been an easy evening, even though it was hot. So why did Cal and his friends go to the meeting of the school board? The evening may have been hot, but Cal was cool, all easy-going, single, male, and in a bar with Dave and Katie, just looking for his first Sidecar of the evening, bar snacks, and small talk. And, of course, no thinking beyond the ball game on the television over the bar. But instead, it was the sticker on his friend's daughter's ninth grade biology book, his friend took out of his brief case and thumped right there on the bar, as if it was the devil warning them of what was going on in the schools. And they hadn't helped, they didn't even vote. "It's not fucking funny, "Cal. You can laugh---you haven't got a kid in school," Dave told him.
That's the way this psychological, scientific, thought-provoking story leads us into the issues of where we come from, where Jesus resides. And questions on what's up with religion in text books spring out, like tennis balls springing over the net. "No theory is Bulletproof," he said, raising his voice." And it stirs up "anger, resentfulness, helplessness" in Cal, and even in us. (Have we also shoved these issues under the rug?) But you never know, this is a very strange world, and a little girl appears, as if she's an angel from what people believe is heaven, and we gasp. And in the end, knowing T.C.Boyle, there is a surprise.