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The Louisville Review – Spring 2006

The poetry in The Louisville Review is accomplished-sounding, conventional and predictably “poetic.” The second piece attests to this: “Koi and goldfish drift in languorous bliss.”

The poetry in The Louisville Review is accomplished-sounding, conventional and predictably “poetic.” The second piece attests to this: “Koi and goldfish drift in languorous bliss.” This is the type of language and construction we expect, and so often find, in thousands of other works, an aesthetic trendiness. The fiction is, on the whole, more enticing. However, the opener, “Dhobi Ghat,” is a long, exceedingly dull story that deploys far too many Hindi words without explanation. This leaves the reader adrift, perplexed. Like many journals, The Louisville Review may be too quick to publish the exotic, perhaps in the effort to gain multicultural credibility. “The Plagiarist” by Eric Lundgren, on the other hand, is one of the best stories I’ve read in years. His deadpan humor is dead-on: “On his way out he attempts a nod of appreciation to the barista. He has offended the barista. Last week he asked if she knew the origin of the name Starbucks, and when she didn’t, he enlightened her: “A certain novel called Moby Dick by one Herman Melville. You should read his letters to Hawthorne sometime.” An astonishingly flaccid pick-up line. Lundgren constantly surprises and impresses; his story is witty, poignant, crafted with impeccable precision and skill. At $20, The Louisville Review does not come cheap, but it may be worth it for this story alone. [www.louisvillereview.org] –Andrew Madigan

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