The Sunday Serial

I’ve been a big fan of the New York Times’ Sunday Serial since Scott Turow started writing for it in April 2006.

The latest is by Colin Harrison, a writer with whom I was not previously familiar. And from the second paragraph he’s showing a virtue of the serial as a form: its ability to be absolutely topical, because of the shorter lead time compared to a book.

While they’d attempted this a bit in the past, I don’t believe they’ve done it to this level of immediacy.

It all began the second Friday in April, a sloppy, cold day. People had finally stopped discussing Eliot Spitzer’s many complex urges. Oil had just hit $112 a barrel, but no one was shocked. People were getting worked up about the Olympics in China. The stock market, so recently up after being so recently down, was down again, and everyone I knew was hoping that the Fed’s quasi-legal voodoo might actually work, so that we wouldn’t all be sucked into a giant, cheap-dollared vortex of recession, inflation and coast-to-coast foreclosures. Then again, many of the folks in my firm had been slyly loading up on gold for months and no doubt counted themselves smart for betting against the American economy. Me, I’d done nothing to prepare for the fiscal apocalypse. All I wanted was to go home and have dinner with Susan.

I haven’t liked (and therefore haven’t read) the last two Sunday Serials. This one has grabbed me from the beginning.

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