Falling While Sitting Down – Joshua Fields Millburn

by Charlie D. Harper on November 23, 2011


In 1958 Orson Welles used a (very) long take at the opening of “Touch of Evil” to pull viewers into his story. Joshua Millburn creates a moment of absolute delight with a similar technique at the start of his second story “A Radically Attenuated History of Generation X”. He writes the longest sentences I’ve ever read and pulls me right into the scene. I was so surprised by the narrative when I first read it that I laughed out loud…and read it again. Did I miss a period? I must have, that could never be one sentence.

And yet it was.

Far too long to send as a text message, yet one coherent thought from start to finish.

The moment was unexpected and satisfying, like that time you found a crumpled and forgotten $20 in your coat pocket.

In some ways the whole book is like that. I never knew what was coming but by the end of each story I wanted to know the next step in the plot and I wanted to meet the next character.

How fun is that?

The additional material by contributing authors Colin Wright, Chase Night, and Mark Robertson is different in style but very good nonetheless. Colin Wright’s “The Beam” stands out in particular, like a crisp one act play.

I rarely buy books (I’m a library guy), but here I make an exception. You can’t borrow it, so buy this book.

Seriously, where else can you spend this little and feel like you found a twenty?

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