Critical Linking: June 6, 2012

A conventional plot, a conventional coming of age story, just wasn’t interesting for me to write. I found it much more satisfying to write disjointed, episodic, fractured narratives that seem to flash by, but also stack up. Everything is complicated for these characters and their world. I knew it had to be complicated, messy. Nothing drives me crazy like an uncomplicated representation, a stereotype.

This is exactly why I loved We The Animals. I needed a break from convention.


Bits do begin to fall off—it’s inevitable—though I hasten to assure you that it was not my foot that was sent recently to the Conservative Party of Canada. I have not yet reached that stage.

And I hope she doesn’t reach it for a very, very long time.


In part, If I Don’t Six seems to be a moment-by-moment account of Reid’s actual experiences at Michigan. But there is something more to this book that takes it out of the sports fiction genre and brings it into the realm of literary fiction. Although the book trades heavily in the ins and outs of college football, it is equally concerned with the character study at its center. Elwood Riley has intelligence that sets him apart from the other players, but he also has a screw loose that causes him to act in unreasonable and destructive ways. These character aspects allow Reid to look at his high school experiences from dueling perspectives — one inside the morass and the other outside of it.

I had to look up the word “morass,” but the review was better than I had anticipated.  Very thorough, if a bit disjointed.


What do the fans want? A printed book that lets them shut off their computer screens and relax. You know, that lovely non-electronic device we used for the release of all seven Harry Potter books. The last thing we want is to be forced to discover new material via a television screen and $300+ worth of equipment. We spend enough time looking at our computer screens every day. We don’t want to continue our magical journey, originally travelled via book, with Sony.

While I’m not sure that he speaks for all Potter fans, I agree 110%.

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