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You Should Read: Ziggurat by Stephen O’Connor

February 10, 2010

You Should Read is a new weekly Wednesday short where I suggest short stories and poems on the web to bide a little time on this dreadful–when will Friday come?–24hrs in the middle of the week.

I read Ziggurat in The New Yorker last summer, which means I still remember it because it was actually good. Most of The New Yorker stuff doesn’t interest me–too snobby and erudite, maybe–but this twist on the classic minotaur and labyrinth story really won my heart. It’s basically about a minotaur who falls in love with a  young girl who stumbles into his maze. They bicker like an old married couple in a witty, endearing way, constantly dancing around the issue of his eating her. She adamantly refuses to be eaten. As a result, the prose is playful, exciting, and readable.

First Lines: The new girl sat at the computer in the corner playing Ziggurat, Panic!, and U-Turn. This was in the pine-panelled section of the Labyrinth, which is where the Minotaur had been hanging out lately, mainly because he didn’t remember ever having been there before, and he liked sleeping on the pool table.

Reading Time: 15-20 minutes.

Level of Enjoyment: Eye smiling. A few groans. Your heart does a little tap dance before slinking back on the couch, experiencing the hazy, almost sad aftermath of orgasmic euphoria.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacie permalink
    February 15, 2010 10:54 am

    I remember reading this story. New Yorker has hits and misses, but this one was one of the hits!

    • February 15, 2010 11:02 am

      I know! Sometimes I’m tempted to unsubscribe because the fiction feels so…snobby? Senselessly erudite? There’s a big difference between well-written and look-how-many-big-word-i-can-use. Glad you liked it!


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