Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on T. C. Boyle's Greasy Lake. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Greasy Lake: Introduction
Greasy Lake: Plot Summary
Greasy Lake: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Greasy Lake: Themes
Greasy Lake: Quotes
Greasy Lake: Characters
Greasy Lake: Symbols
Greasy Lake: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of T. C. Boyle
Historical Context of Greasy Lake
Other Books Related to Greasy Lake
- Full Title: Greasy Lake
- When Written: Early 1980s
- When Published: 1985, as the title story of the collection Greasy Lake and Other Stories
- Literary Period: Postmodernist
- Genre: Literary fiction; short fiction; realism; Americana
- Setting: New York State
- Climax: After brawling with a “bad character” on a visit to Greasy Lake, the unnamed narrator, hiding at the lake’s edge finds a dead body.
- Antagonist: “The Bad Character;” industry; stasis
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for Greasy Lake
Dangerous Characters. In 1988, “Greasy Lake” was adapted into a short film starring Eric Stoltz as the narrator and James Spader as Digby. Lasting just under thirty minutes, the film remains true to the story’s brevity and simplicity.
Sprits in the Night. T.C. Boyle named “Greasy Lake” for Bruce Springsteen’s song “Spirit in the Night,” written and recorded for Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973). This song tells the story of a group of teenagers, “all duded up for [a] Saturday night,” who take “a bottle of rose” and drive “a mile down the dark side of route eight-eight” to “Greasy Lake.”