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Showing posts from June, 2014

New Yorker Fiction Review: "Ba Baboon," by Thomas Pierce

Issue: June 2, 2014
Story: "Ba Baboon"
Author: Thomas Pierce
Review: Another first-time author to TGCB; I know nothing about this guy other than what I've learned in a brief (we're talking fruit-fly attention span level brief) internet search. I think he teaches at University of Virginia; not sure whether he has a book out and frankly it doesn't seem relevant to the story at hand, so...
I wasn't crazy about this piece but there are some redeeming qualities here. The setup is a little far-fetched and smells a bit too "quirky 90s George Saunders-y" if you ask me: an adult brother and sister end up trapped in the home of the sister's ex-lover, while attempting to steal a sex-tape of the sister and her lover, a tape which may or may not exist. They end up trapped by the lover's extremely aggressive dogs. 
The dynamic between the brother and sister (Brooks and Mary) is that at one time Brooks was the protector in the relationship -- giving Mary advi…

Two from the New Yorker

So I am way, waaay behind on my New Yorker fiction reviewing. So far behind I almost said hell with it and abandoned this entire enterprise; however, there are some things in life you just can't let go of. I made a promise to myself about 18 months ago to read and review every New Yorker story, week-in and week-out, until.... well, there wasn't really an "until," I just don't want to quit now. Anyway, here are reviews of two (somewhat) recent stories:


Issue: May 19, 2014

Story: "The Waitress"

Author: Robert Coover

Review: Having only discovered Robert Coover through my weekly New Yorker fiction reviewing, I've come to look forward to seeing his name on table of contents. His stories are imaginative, magical realist, and often incorporate fairy-tale elements (which, most of the time I could do without, but Coover manages to make them work most of the time) and, in the main, represent a nice departure from the staid, traditional form and subject matter of…