This Remington fancies himself to be quite the writer, doesn’t — he? She?
Who knows. Whatever. There’s been some other work of his floating around out there (including some rather harrowing pornography on a website called Literotica), but he seems to think he’s got an ear for short fiction.
I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that he’s another recovered alcoholic/addict.
There’s that business in “Depending on Magda” with the bottle of rubbing alcohol, although for my money, that’s a bit far fetched. As if anyone would really consider drinking rubbing alcohol. Yes, oh all right, Bowery bums and all, but come on. I’m not buying it.
Depending on Magda
Liffy sat by the window of the basement apartment, watching feet and legs swing by, ignoring the slamming and banging…
As to his ability to tell a layered story, well apparently that’s what he thinks is his strength. “There Is A Number” is a little too clever for its own good and I don’t know how many readers will get the allusion at the end to 42 being the answer to life, the universe and everything from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Who knows, maybe more than I’m willing to believe. I do admit that I liked the business about the hands; I took that image out into the city with me and it was actually pretty creepy. I loved it. As to the numbers thing, though, Remington probably thinks too much. Just one critic’s opinion.
There Is A Number
Nell’s mind just worked that way and there was nothing for it. Dot knew it. Anders knew it. Even the guy at the…
I have read a little about Remington; he’s from the Midwest (naturally, aren’t they all?), Des Moines or Chicago or someplace. No, wait, Cleveland. He’s from Cleveland and moved to New York City, Harlem no less, back at the turn of the millenium. Yes, that’s right, and I believe I heard that he earned his BA from Columbia University. Talk about your late bloomer; the guy had to have been forty or older when he managed to nail his B.A.; better late than never I suppose.
He’s actually got a bit of a following from what I understand, probably fancies himself to be a writer’s writer given some of his fans. Since when did Steve Lattimore buy this kind of easy, broadly symbolic after-school special? I thought the guy had more of an edge than that. Iowa must be going soft.
And Ted Gup? Are you kidding! What the hell does a guy of his stature and reputation see in Remington? This is an award-winning investigative journalist who worked for Time Magazine and The Washington Post, with the likes of Bob Woodward? There’s really no accounting for taste.
I can believe, though, that Inez Castor out in California would fall for this stuff, she’s such an old earth mother, bless her heart.
The real mystery is why Anita Dixon Eppley is so hot about Remington. When a writer of the caliber of Eppley stands beside Remington, well, maybe I’m missing something here.
But I don’t think I am.
Remington’s got a major hard-on for the likes of Hilary Mantel, Maeve Binchy, and Mary Stewart. And, now that I think of it, maybe Remington is a woman. That story about the black pigeon gets awfully touchy, feely; all that warm fuzz about the homeless guy finding a place to live and the little girl from Kentucky becoming a ‘real’ writer. Just stop it.
The Black Pigeon
Opalene Lewis stared out the window of the bus through the sleet. She ached with homesickness even as she recognized…
But, no, a woman couldn’t get into a little boy’s head like he did in “A Good, Deep Hole”. I really thought he was gonna kill the kid off in the end. I was sure he was leading up to some kind of disaster and that would have pissed me off almost more than that sappy ending with the kids and the pond. Nice, though, the way he let that ending sneak up on the reader.
A Good, Deep Hole
Ioan had found this place by accident. He’d discovered the birch grove behind the house where he now lived and would…
Nothing this guy has done so far really worked for me and I kind of lost interest. Then I see he’s “reinventing” himself on Medium and that he’s working on a novella about (ready for this?) a homeless alcoholic woman named Grace. He even put the first chapter up as a series on Medium along with the admittedly pretty evocative photography of another total unknown, aleXander hirka.
I’m not going into the whole thing. It would take too long and I have things to take care of or I’m sleeping outdoors…
There was something else he was supposed to have been working on (I have my sources); an absurdly improbable love story of an older, angry gay man and a drag queen. First, oh please, how much more clichéd and obnoxious can you get? But, realistically, no woman’s going to be interested in writing such a story even if she had the ability. And she wouldn’t.
I will say that some of his more current work, the essays, aren’t bad. It’s Remington’s good luck that Medium exists, though, because no one else is going to publish this stuff. I rather liked the one about how New York City isn’t an American city even if that’s a horse that’s been beaten enough in my opinion.
Less enjoyable, and completely predictable, was his essay on his vacation to Iceland. First, you can’t take a bad photo anywhere in that country so he’s got that going for him, but that folksy tone of his is incredibly off-putting.
Given the state of publishing today, Remington’s got a better than even shot of taking off. He’s no Geoffrey Eugenides, but sadly you don’t have to be these days. I do wish the guy the best; he’s clearly got the hunger and the drive. He’s one of those silly fools who doesn’t know he can’t fly so, of course, he probably will.
Watch him make me eat these words one day. I guess I actually hope that he does.
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