“Dietrologia”
by Paul Theroux
from the December 7, 2020 issue of The New Yorker

It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had anything by Paul Theroux show up in The New Yorker. I’m a fan, so “Dietrologia” is most welcome.

The story begins with an older man, Sal Frezzolini, sitting in a rocking chair telling a group of kids the following:

Listen, in the debris field otherwise known as my life, I recall one funny thing — but when I say funny I don’t mean it was funny chuckle-chuckle. It was horrible and obvious, but I didn’t have the capacity to see it then — that was a gift I developed later.

Much like the children Sal is talking to, I am somewhat intrigued but lost at this point. Sal himself seems only partly present and admits to being confused.

I have not finished the story yet. I am interested, but I had something else I needed to do at the time. I’ll be honest, I’m not as hooked as I hoped to be, but I’ll get back to it.

In the meantime, please feel free to leave any thoughts you have below!

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