Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Sarah Braunstein's "All You Have to Do" was originally published in the March 16, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.
I must say I’m at a loss with what I myself should write. I finished the story the day it was first published and liked it well enough but I didn’t latch on to anything, good or bad, that made it particularly memorable. Writing anything feels more like a chore, something I’ve told myself I must do, rather than an exercise in exploring a story that I either liked or didn’t like. Consequently, a week has past and I haven’t written anything.
And now, after all of your comments, I feel even less of an urge to write anything as you’ve articulated things better than I could. So I’ll just respond in brief and hope the conversation below goes on as long as this story merits conversation.
I find Roger’s arguments articulate my feelings quite well, though I think I liked the story a bit more. I definitely don’t find myself in Adrienne’s camp, extolling the details in the story. Some of those details worked for me; many, particularly when listed in Adrienne’s comment, had the ring of details-for-detail’s-sake, by which I mean the details are fabricated to make the story feel real. That is not a strong enough structure for me. I feel the story is lacking some control when it comes to whatever it is it is actually exploring in the life of Sid.
Sorry for the “meh” post here. There’s better stuff in the comments below.