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45 review for The Republic of Bad Taste

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abe Aamidor

    Shockingling weak, even amateurish short story. Compare it to Adam Johnson's work on North Korea - Franzen looks like he's read a couple of newspaper articles about the latter days of East Germany, and that's all. Nothing feels authentic about the locale. The love story is absurd, not in the sense that love can be irrational, but it just happens in this story, we're just told about it, violating the rule "show me, don't tell me." Franzen just tells us love has happened. He tells us a girl is bea Shockingling weak, even amateurish short story. Compare it to Adam Johnson's work on North Korea - Franzen looks like he's read a couple of newspaper articles about the latter days of East Germany, and that's all. Nothing feels authentic about the locale. The love story is absurd, not in the sense that love can be irrational, but it just happens in this story, we're just told about it, violating the rule "show me, don't tell me." Franzen just tells us love has happened. He tells us a girl is beautiful, but not how so. And he telegraphs the overall ending - it's a twentysomething guy falling for a 15-year-old girl, and of course in two years (a lifetime for her) the man will mean nothing. Way too much dialog here, as well. Talk, talk, talk. I don't feel I got inside anyone's head here; I don't "know" East Germany from reading this; and I'm pretty bitter, actually, that The New Yorker published this. I've suspicious that's it's a case of what they call "the get" in the media. The got Franzen! They got Franzen! Franzen is no intellectual heavyweight here, too - his musings about time, eternity and the existential - wait, I feel like I'm 19 again myself! As the story is set in 1989, I'm suspicious that the story was written in 1989 or thereabouts, when Franzen was polishing his craft. If so, he should know better than to get published just for the sake of being published. The story reads like something you'd present at an MFA seminar in 1989 (thankfully the story is not trendy or arty, just mediocre and predictable). There's a reason all fiction submission to any magazine should be "blind" and this is a clear case of it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sayantan Ghosh

    Tragi-comic murder story seeped in old school romance, mended with narratives of modern history. Where else, but in a Jonathan Franzen excerpt.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darth Vader

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tex

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rtgr vn Dngn

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Anthony

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  8. 5 out of 5

    bluebead

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dani

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

  13. 5 out of 5

    Macy White

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Interrante

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  16. 4 out of 5

    Omi Chowdhury

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leland William

    Excellent story. Published in New Yorker Fiction Issue.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raul

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dyscover

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  23. 5 out of 5

    book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather Dornberger

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andy Balicki

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jana

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maiy Azize

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anakin Skywalker

  31. 5 out of 5

    JP

  32. 4 out of 5

    Mina Zalnasky

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad K. Minkara

  34. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  35. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  36. 4 out of 5

    Alina Laura

  37. 4 out of 5

    Sean Quinn

  38. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Alexander

  40. 4 out of 5

    Karie Luidens

  41. 4 out of 5

    Vettius29

  42. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Hancock

  43. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardiner

  44. 4 out of 5

    Ari

  45. 4 out of 5

    David Duvall

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