A Story a Day #41: Ring Lardner
March 17th, 2020
To summarize, this story is the ramblings of a barber. It consists of town gossip and mentions lots of names that seem to be pretty unimportant except for a few.
I mean, I don't know what to say about this story. It is just the ramblings of a barber who touches on lots of people and events that the reader, nor probably even the client, have any investment in. We all know people like this; people that can talk just by themselves for hours on end. It is a familiar experience which I suppose is the effect this story is going for, almost comical and somewhat frustrating. Okay, very frustrating. To be honest, I didn't even carefully read this story after the first few pages because it was so disconnected and exhausting.
One thing I will mention is that this is the first story I've really read in this anthology that is written in dialect. Often when I think of "great American" literature at least one dialect novel comes to mind, perhaps because they are so ingrained into American curriculum. I was surprised that this was the first short story that seemed to have any dialect in them at all. I can appreciate the skill it takes to recreate this, but it does take quite a bit more effort to read.