Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers). Ramona Ausubel’s “You Can Find Love Now” was originally published in the Jun 9 & 16, 2014 issue of The New Yorker. This is the Summer Fiction edition, so you can click here to see the other stories in this issue.

Click for a larger image.

Click for a larger image.

The shortest of the four stories in this year’s New Yorker fiction issue, I chose to read it first. Finished it a week ago, in fact, and since then have simply confirmed that I have little to say.

“You Can Find Love Now” is a concept story, featuring the (or, at least, a) Cyclops. He’s filling out some kind of online profile for a dating website: “You are lonely, but you don’t have to be. You have so many great qualities!” Having to settle for “cyclops15” because 1-14 were taken, the eight-foot-tall giant who lives at the heart of a volcano proceeds to answer the typical, lively questions with atypical answers:

Tell the ladies a little more about yourself! What’s your own unique story?

[. . . .]

I teach online English classes, not to get paid but because I like to feel smarter than someone else. I teach all the classic books, except the Odyssey.

Yes, this Cyclops is a lonely man, self-conscious, branching out just a bit in this contemporary society. And that’s about all I got from the story.

It’s not that it isn’t worth reading (well, maybe it isn’t), it’s just that it felt slight to me, a lark. Stylistically there’s some interesting stuff — I really like the humor that comes when he talks about his father: “The upside: my father is the god of the sea, so we can guarantee good weather on our honeymoon cruise.” Also, I was impressed by some of the descriptions, like that the god of the sea “smells like an overcleaned wound.”

Did anyone else get more?

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