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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 326

Greasy Lake & Other Stories is a collection of short stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle.

In the story "Greasy Lake" itself, the characters are:

  • The nameless narrator, a posturing nineteen-year-old middle-class kid who, like the two friends he goes out cruising with in the story, cultivates a studied cool, hoping to appear somehow "bad." Yet his apparent badness seems to manifest itself only in wearing "mirror shades" at all times.
  • Jeff, one of the narrator's friends, is a dreamer who is "thinking of quitting school to become a painter/musician/head-shop proprietor."
  • Digby is the other of the narrator's two friends. A student at Cornell, he is described as a "dangerous character" apparently because he wears an earring.
  • Bobby, also described as the "Bad Character," is a young guy who is disturbed by the Narrator and his friends, while with his girlfriend in the back of a '57 Chevy. After he angrily emerges from the car and quickly and violently subdues the "bad" trio, the narrator knocks him out with a tire iron.

In "The Overcoat Two," the main character, Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, is a faithful worker in the Cold War-era Soviet Union. After he buys an extremely expensive coat, unaware that its source is the black market, he enjoys a fleeting glimpse of happiness.

In "Caviar," the main characters are:

  • Mr. Trimpdie and his wife, Marie, a middle-aged childless couple who hope to remedy this situation through in-vitro fertilization.
  • Dr. Ziss, a young doctor with whom the couple consults about their problem.
  • Wendy, a young woman who they employ as a surrogate mother.

In "Ike and Nina" the main characters are:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, the thirty-fourth president of the United States.
  • Madame Nina Khruschev, wife of Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev.

In "Rupert Beersley and the Beggar of the Sivan's-Hoota" the main character is Rupert Beersley, a Sherlock Holmes-like detective, who travels to colonial India to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a nawab's children.

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