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piiskoor

Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

McGlue
Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Another Day in the Milky Way - David Milgrim Ceridwen both alerted me to this book and said what it so brilliantly does.

There are many things that can drive me crazy about the stories pitched at children, and perhaps Horrible Thing About Kids' Stories #2 is "The Lazy Deployment of Arbitrary and Tediously Familiar Narrative Conflicts." (This is closely related to Horrible Thing About Kids' Stories #1, which is "The Finger-Wagging Good-For-You Moral Lesson Imparted By The Tale.") In movies, #2 is often a dead parent--surely a bad thing, and surely productive of some good stories. But often simply LDoAaTFNC. There is so much to love about Milgrim's book, much of it laid out in Ceridwen's review, but I'll emphasize what Max and I dig: stuff just happens. It's fun, there is a kind of conflict (but, meh, it's just something to work on, and not particularly alarming), but plot is a McGuffin. What is fun about stories is they can go anywhere, and it is fun to follow along, and who gives a damn where they end up?

PS We're also suckers for monkeys. They are perhaps Thing Guaranteed to Make a Kids' Story At Least 5 Times Better #37.