Friday, February 10, 2012

On "Don't Be Like That" by Andrew Pippos (1886 words) ****

A friend of mine prefers stories that meander, that aren't the usual ride up toward an epiphany or a climax. Indeed, a break from the formula can be nice, but there's a reason the formula exists. Without it, we often have little to carry us along--or we feel let down by the ending.

Pippos's "Don't Be Like That" has a certain random feeling of going nowhere to me, but it doesn't fail to be interesting, and that randomness is part of what, I think, Pippos is aiming for. This is a story about being eighteen, nineteen, twenty, about not knowing where life is going but being fully engaged in what life has to offer. The narrator works, quits, travels, hangs out with a girl he might be dating, squandors his time in things that seem like they might be important--squandors it in thinking about things that might seem important. Read the story here at N+1.

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