‘Strangler Bob’, in the Oct 23rd New Yorker is as perfect and satisfying a short story, a…
The neat part about this book is the writers who talk about the short stories they love. I’m partial to Raymond Carver, and I’ve always loved the writing of David Means, who in this book talks about Carver’s story “Why Don’t You Dance”. It’s a great moment, as Carver was keen on capturing, about a man who is giving away his life, selling it on the front lawn. It was made into a great movie with Will Ferrell, and surprisingly Will embodied a lot of what I felt when I first read this story.
Amidst the pleasure, I remember feeling a twinge of resentment toward the teacher who’d turned me on to this story—as though she’d somehow usurped a piece of my individuality before I’d gotten the chance to discover it for myself.
My first reading of White Noise took place outdoors, in a reclining deck chair with my feet up against the log railing outside of a friend’s parent’s log home built onto a mountainside in Summit County, state of Colorado. I mention this for two reasons. First, to clarify that I was then, as I had been all of my life, plugged neatly into a world of American wealth and wasteful consumption, which made the big red DeLillo target on my back all the bigger and redder.