May 6, 2013

"The Gray Goose"

By Jonathan Lethem
~7800 words

A nice Jewish girl loses her virginity while reminiscing about Burl Ives. Or something.

Miriam has a problem. Okay, she has several problems. One, in 1948, when she was just a girl, her father abandoned the family, "the sole Jew who'd run back to Germany." Two, her mother has an overly-intimate connection to Abraham Lincoln and is a "volcano of death" on the inside. And three, Miriam's first boyfriend is uncircumcised, and she can't seem to give him a handjob without thinking about Burl Ives' rendition of "The Gray Goose."

If you're getting the idea that I didn't care for this story, you're right. I found the characters unlikeable, the storytelling full of confusing and often irrelevant details, and the language unbearably self-indulgent. But hey, I'm always willing to be convinced to the contrary. Please use the comments to do so. Otherwise, this one's fate is sealed.


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