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Showing posts from June, 2019

New Yorker Fiction Review #229: "Back Pack" by Tony Earley

Review of a short story from the Nov. 5, 2018 issue of The New Yorker...

Really digging through some back issues now, trying to (mostly) get caught up on the short stories I missed over the winter. But my life has improved immeasurably since I gave up on ever again being fully caught up, which waved bye-bye back in the fall of 2017. Oh well. The point was always to read great short stories and chop them up not stay maniacally obsessed with reviewing every single story in The New Yorker. If I sound like I'm excusing myself...I am. But I digress.

I've never heard of Tony Earley before but I tell you one thing: He can construct a damned interesting story about a middle-aged man who decides to abandon the otherwise logical and successful course of his life -- becoming stagnant and boring for reasons we don't really hear a ton about -- and take a trip to Lake Superior in order to kill himself. Why does he need to travel all the way up to Lake Superior in order to kill himself? …