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Short Story Review: "O" by Robert Boswell

Robert Boswell
Issue: October 2016 Issue of The Atlantic

Story: "O" by Robert Boswell

Rating: $

Review: I like keeping tabs on the short fiction in magazines other than The New Yorker, especially when it's short, pithy, and good, like this one from Robert Boswell. Boswell is a new one on me but apparently he's pretty widely-published, at least within a certain realm of literature. I'd be interested to hear from anyone with any kind of opinion of his work.

This story, titled simply O, reminds me a lot of the movie Babel (2006), which basically highlighted the ways that the accumulated dysfunction and alienation of modern-day individuals adds up to a colossal web of dysfunction and craziness that we call "the modern world." Somewhat fund to read, much like it's "fun" to watch a disaster movie or experience schadenfreude; you're just glad its not happening to you. The thing is, the way Boswell sees the world...all of this craziness and dysfunction is happening to you, you just maybe can't see it. But, rest assured, according to Boswell, it's all around you, going on, and on, and on, and on...

Only one $ because it was actually pretty tough to read. The revolving perspective technique works sometimes, but somehow in this story it seemed a bit laborious. I couldn't imagine reading much more of this kind of writing, and this story was already pretty short.


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