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New Yorker Fiction Review #124: "Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl" by Anne Beattie

Issue: Nov. 23, 2015

Story: "Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl" by Anne Beattie

Rating: Meh Meh Meh

Review: This saggy, boring, self-indulgent "story" gets the rare and dreaded "triple Meh." I know Anne Beattie's a PEN Award winner and a Guggenheim Fellow and all that crap, but that doesn't mean she's immune from writing limp, uninteresting fiction on occasion.

This is a story about, and clearly aimed-at, upper-middle-class white senior citizens. Hey, don't get me wrong, white U.M.C. senior citizens need stories too. After all, they have dramas that take place in their lives and a need to process them, and mankind has been processing its dramas and desires through story for as long as there's been a "mankind" to speak of. But the stories don't have to be crushingly boring and include so many badly drawn characters that it requires a cheat sheet to keep track of them.

It kind of hurts me to say all this, cause I really liked Beattie's last NYer story, "Major Maybe," April 20, 2015 -- TGCB, 5/11/15).  Here, on the other hand, I think she really whiffed. I don't have lot more to say here.

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