Oct 202016
 

hogswild_cvr_112015.inddMany of the essays, interviews, and reports collected here were first published in the New Yorker, but not one of them is less interesting reading a second time.  The stories range from a page to more than thirty and cover such disparate topics as the most dangerous bus route in New York City, seal-spotting, the guys that invented compostable packaging made from fungi, teaching the homeless to be better writers, the origins of one of Bob Dylan’s earliest and most important songs, and how Asian Carp are spreading throughout America’s heartland.  Who knew there were so many interesting things to learn about?  What makes each essay so interesting, of course, is not the topic, but Frazier’s innate ability to spin simile and metaphor.  Park benches have snow pulled up to their knees and a meteorite that crashed through a roof in Monmouth, New Jersey, “was dull brownish-silver and shaped sort of like a small croissant.”  Reading every story back-to-back can be wearing.  Better, perhaps, to treat this collection like a box of fine chocolates.

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