Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On "Song and Dance" by Mark Lafferty (8366 words) *****

The rather mundane title aside (but a lot of great stories have mundane titles), this may be the best online story from 2007. Certainly, it was the best online story that I read. The story is one of a paraplegic teen, not exactly the most uplifting of topics. And Lafferty does a great job of milking this sad situation for all the sadness one could get from it, but he does it in such a way that it doesn't seem sentimental or sappy. It's just sad. The way Lafferty manages to do this may be in the details, how he gives you the nitty-gritty everyday reality of someone who must rely on others for virtually everything, including cleaning up after, well, bodily functions most of us take for granted. As would be expected, moments of possible mild hope occur--and are dashed, perhaps tragically, or perhaps like one would have to expect. Read the story here at the Mississippi Review.

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