Sunday, November 14, 2010

Short Story Review: The New Yorker

Alright so just a heads up this is an assignment. I wanted to find an apocalyptic short story but I couldn't find any published in The New Yorker before August 30/10. So, I randomly picked one called the The Warm Fuzzies by Chris Adrian. To my surprise it was a story about a large Christian family band. The main protagonist is a girl named Molly who kind of hates her life (I think). This probably wasn't the best story to go with because I'm sure I'll offend someone with this blog post. I'll try my best to tread lightly.

At first I thought this would be a good insight as to what living in a big Christian family would be like. I had liberty of seeing a traveling Christian family band from Branson when I visited My grandparents in Mesa and when I first started reading the story I thought "Wow this will be interesting." And for the most part it was pretty interesting at first, you really see through the characters eyes what living in a family like that would be like and also experiencing normal teenage emotions. But as the story continued I found myself kind of worried by what may happen. I wasn't quite sure if the author was trying convey a point or main message in his story, like maybe "like Christian musical families are weird" or "Being a teenage girl is a large Christian family sucks."  The family also fosters a black teenage boy who likes to dance. While I was reading the story I kept cringing at the thought of what sort of offensive boundaries this author is going to break.

So after I read the story I did a little research on the author. He has an English degree and also an M.D. and working in "pediatric oncology at a fellowship". So, I thought that was strange. He is a Christian doctor that writes stories for the New Yorker about living in a big Christian family and the weird stuff that goes on. Interesting. Okay I get it (I think).

But, aside from the weird uncomfortableness of this story I thought the writing style was pretty good. It had this weird third person passive type thing going that made the story kind of hard to follow but I think it worked for the context of this story and made it stronger. I also like the use of language and description. I think it needed a little tweaking here and there for clarity sake. I also found it long but I was able to follow along pain free for six pages without becoming too bored (which happens often). I like the little details (like all the sisters names started with M and all the brothers names started with C). I also enjoyed the descriptive-ness of the protagonists thoughts, I thought it was a uniquely written.

But all in all this story was still weird and there is no way of writing that can fix a weird story and make it less uncomfortable to read.

This short story appeared in The New Yorker in the September 27, 2010 issue.

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