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THE GREEN SUIT by Dwight Allen


by Dwight Allen

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2000
ISBN: 1-56512-274-7
Publisher: Algonquin

Linked short stories about a young writer drifting aimlessly through the last 20 years. Sound familiar? It is . . . and the usual signposts mark the territory: a stint at graduate school, intellectual name-dropping, a move to New York, poorly paid jobs at minor publishing concerns and special-interest magazines, desultory love affairs, and a troubled family disintegrating with a barely audible whimper, not a bang. Eventually, Peter Sackrider grows up a little, moving away from the hinted-at affluence of his childhood and his secure place in a small world, where every house sits on several acres and the maid answers the phone. To his credit, Peter feels compelled to set down his double latte and tackle the Big Questions, however indirectly: Life, Death, Sex, and the Surprising Meaninglessness of Post-College Existence. In several of these pieces (here presented as chapters), the subject matter tends to repeat. But Allen has a knack for pithy characterization, and his unusually lucid style and eye for odd detail serve him best when he drops the first person and takes other, less self-absorbed, points of view. An unremarkable debut from a nonetheless talented author.