T. C. Boyle’s dreary new novel, “The Women,” isn’t a rewrite of Clare Boothe Luce’s wicked 1936 play “The Women.” It’s a rewrite of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright that somehow manages to turn the gripping, operatic saga of America’s premier architect and the women in his life into a tedious, predictable melodrama.
Ouch. Followed by a discussion of the backwards in time narrative technique:
Unfortunately for the reader, this inorganic, needlessly complex architecture — of the sort that Wright would utterly disdain in a building — serves no discernible purpose. Time scrolls back into the past not to reveal a more innocent or idealistic hero, but simply to underscore Wright’s perennial egotism.