Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On "Love Is a Thing on Sale for More Money Than There Exists" by Tao Lin (4796 words) *****

This is the story that launched my interest in Tao Lin. It is one of his best, but it is also in some ways typical of most of his fiction, which is often similarly lengthily titled. Many of his stories, as does this one, begin by addressing a large macrocosmic issue--this is how it is in the United States on this date, and so on. And then, the story shifts into personal gear, telling readers about one or two specific people amid all of these events. But what makes the stories more than just refresher courses in current affairs is that the events are almost always taken to the point of absurdity. Here, we get terrorists--something that certainly hits the news each day. But the obsession is carried to the point of absurdity--concerns, for example, that terrorists might open stores and sell bad things. Meanwhile, two people struggle through their relationship. It's the latter part that is the heart of the story, but its the context that gives the story its zaniness and zest. Read the story here at one of Lin's blogs.

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