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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New talent in current New Yorker - Luke Mogelson

A new (to me) talent in the New Yorker this week, Luke Mogelson, with a story called Peacetime - don't know anything about the author except that the note says he lives in Mexico (the story, however, is set in NYC and he's obviously familiar w/ that literarily rich turf) and that he last wrote for the NYer about Ebola, so he's a double-threat, at least. The story is in the first-person narrated tough-guy genre, reminds me a little of the stories we used to see in the NYer from former pugilist Thom Jones (what's happened to him?), in this case though the narrator, Pappadopoulos (sp?) is a former NYC National Guardsman who's done duty in Iraq (not what he bargained for in signing up) and is now in a state of emotional and financial ruin, living illegally in the Lex Ave barracks and making $ as an EMT - but one with a serious Rx fix and a less-serious but quixotic kleptomania. His rich narrative weaves together several episodes, some quite harrowing such as EMT calls to violent and suicidal people, and others full of suppressed anger, or humor at times - his confrontations with his very difficult commanding officer, a few flashes of recollection of death in Iraq, flames that he snuffs out. Lots of good rich material in this story; like many NYer pieces, it doesn't really quite come to an ending, just stops in place - whether because Peacetime is part of a longer work and is just cut and pasted from that, or whether Mogelson has mastered the story voice but not yet the design of a short story, I can't say, but he's a writer worth reading - I'd read more of his stuff for sure.

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