Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On "The Formula" by John Olson (1828 words) ***

Another story of a cat, a boy, and a life from the blog of the same name, this one on the longer side. I think the length, in this case, helps. While there are a lot of great things about the wide variety of publications available on the Web--the fact that people are reading during their lunch breaks again, the fact that new writers have a way to be easily and widely accessible--one of the unfortunate effects has been, from what I can tell, more and more of an emphasis on short Web-centered reading. Folks no longer have the patience for more than a paragraph or two. I find myself, when reading online, to often feel the same, wanting to rush through a long piece in a way I wouldn't feel rushed were I reading it in print. So when authors finally get a chance to take a deep breath and dig in, it's often rewarding to those readers willing to hang on.

Olson makes of the three items a mantra and sticks them into the thoughts of a what I take to be a middle-aged man struggling to get some kind of comfort out of life. To that extent, the mantra is his calming influence, even as it hints at the anxiousness within his soul. Read the story here at A Boy, a Cat, A Lifeboat.

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