Emma Cline (author of The Girls, The New York Times Best Seller and named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post) has written a fine short story, "Northeast Regional," appearing in the April 10, 2017 edition of The New Yorker.
The piece grips the reader with the clipped first sentence, "Close to five hours on the train."
A remote father is called to his son's college where there is reported ''trouble." All moves along seamlessly, with tension, until the explosive dialogue near the end. I did not see it coming. Super!
The writing rolls along at a smooth pace, not a word out of order. The kid's bad doings are left off stage, we are sparred the torrid details.
The insolent kid is contrasted by his fragile, sniveling girl friend, bullied by the boy's father. A non-participating father for the most part, who is both weak and critical. Not to mention a pill-popper.
There is a one-paragraph sex scene that works.
No one in this piece is likable, yet sympathetic.
I don't want to spoil the plot, so I am intentionally leaving you wanting to read "Northeast Regional."
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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