View Full Version : "History of a Disturbance" by Steven Millhauser

03-15-2007, 12:43 AM
This isn't a book -- it's the fiction piece in The New Yorker of March 5. But it blew my mind! Has anyone else read this story? Had a similar reaction?

I don't feel qualified to say that it's The Best Writing...but if another piece has affected me as strongly I don't recall it. The beauty of it, to me, is that it's not the story itself that is so powerful, it's how the words are used to tell it.

After reading it, I felt as though I could visualize the sentences all fitting together like bricks making a solid wall. Everything goes together perfectly, somehow ("somehow," that lousy word, in this context means I can't pull out an example, it's more of a sum-of-the-parts kinda thing). And the momentum builds in such a way that I can feel it building inside me as I read it, till at the end, I'm almost breathless.

I've read it twice now, same effect both times, even tho the second time I was trying to read it with writerly detachment.