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Showing posts from August, 2017

New Yorker Fiction Review #186: "The I.O.U." by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Review of a short story from the Mar. 20, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

This story, "The I.O.U." is part of a collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's unpublished works soon to be released (maybe already has been released). Now, I love F. Scott Fitzgerald as much as the next guy (actually, I probably love F. Scott Fitzgerald at least 75% to 90% more than the next guy) but this story could have stayed in whatever forgotten pile of papers they dug it up from, and my life would not have changed one iota.

Like a lot of people whose seminal exposure to literature took place in high school, The Great Gatsby is one of my absolute favorite books. I agree with those (in slowly diminishing numbers) who believe that it is the Great American Novel. I love Fitzgerald's personal story (tragic, though it is), his place in literary history and legend, and the legacy he has left us by writing this enduring American gem of a novel.

At the same time, in my opinion, F. Scott Fitzgerald wro…

Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 7 Finale

Frankly, I thought the Season 7 Finale of Game of Thrones was a little weak. The final episode of a Game of Thrones season is never the "craziest" episode. The really whacko stuff usually happens in the second to last (or penulitmate, as they say) episode. Even so, this episode just felt a little tepid. The dialogue was forced, nothing was as dramatic as it was "supposed" to be, and it seemed like they just had to tie up a bunch of plotlines in a hurry. Then, of course, there is the astonishingly un-sexy consummation of Danaerys and Jon Snow's "flirtation," in some ship cabin sex.

Here are my bullet-point thoughts on the episode:
Euron Greyjoy. I called B.S. the moment Euron Greyjoy fled the King's Landing summit/conference in fear upon seeing one of the living dead. And I was right: it was a bluff. But my questions are: a.) How did Euron and Cersei plan for being shown one of the living dead? Did the guards look inside the box and tip them off? T…

Wine Review: Penya Viognier 2016 Cotes Catalanes

It takes a lot to get me to write about wine these days. There was a time (on this very blog) when I used to write about wine regularly, but a.) I stopped drinking as much of it, and b.) I started writing about other things. Which is why, IMHO, Penya Viognier 2016 Cotes Catalanes is that much more remarkable; it is such a good wine for your money that it spurred me to start writing about wine again.

If you see some of this in your local wine store, buy it. This bottle set me back all of about $9.99+tax and has so far provided two evenings of extremely pleasurable drinking. The first night we drank it (as our 2nd bottle) with some breaded pork chops and sauteed garlic spinach; now we sip the remainer of the bottle unaccompanied by any food, two days later. The wine has kept it's body and freshness.

Cotes Catalanes is an AOC that lies in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the glorious wine country of the Southwest of France. I personally do not have much experience with the Viognie…

New Yorker Review #185: "Solstice" by Anne Enright

Review of a short story from the Mar. 13, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

Eventually I will resume writing about things other than short stories from The New Yorker...that is...when I get caught up to present day and am not multiple months behind. But I just feel like if I don't stop everything and burn through these stories now, I'll become so hopelessly behind that I will quit this project...and I can't do that. I've been reveiwing the short fiction in The New Yorker for more than four years now. Gotta keep it going! And so...we have "Solstice" by Anne Enright.

When you read enough literary short stories, you start to notice trends or categories that emerge. Take for example my post from July 13th about "metro fiction." This story falls into a category you might refer to as "domestic fiction," or fiction that takes place within the walls of a home and usually explores some theme or themes related to family life, growing older, becoming a…