Sunday, August 22, 2010

On "The Last Irresponsible Act in America" by Rob Lavender (7661 words) ***

One of the things that makes George Saunders so popular is that his writing is so absurd. At his best, he takes something like a caveman amusement park, adds some modern amenities and a concern about a divorce, and makes all these issues seem fresh and new again. Lavender's work here goes to similar extremes, taking a carnival show that's seen better days and trying to find ways to reinvent it for a world where reality television means that a midget swimming with a dolphin is hardly so intriguing anymore (not when you can watch people get fired or marry a millionaire or eat spiders). Throw in some commentary on insurance companies and corporate education, and you've got the makings of a weird tale. Read it here, at Front Porch.

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