Thursday, May 22, 2008

On "Mexico" by Andrew Roe (2518 words) ***

This is one of those stories that works largely because the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It starts off promising enough, but by the time I reached the central incident, I was wondering why the story didn't just start there. And then, the language began to fall apart--extra words, dialogue lines that seemed to go on too long, and overwriting that seemed to rob the scene of much of its power. But hold on for those last three paragraphs--the author will whack you with some slam-bang lines that will leave you almost breathless. The story all comes together then. It's not easy to write endings like this. And like many such endings, it slips up on you in a way that all that seeming excess early on can not only be forgiven but seems, actually, necessary for the ending to have such power. Read the story here.

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