?, "A Country Like No Other"

Journalist Daniel and photographer Tim are in over their heads covering a West African conflict.

(from The Secret Society of the Demolition Writers)

A very scary, very real-seeming story of war in a strange place. Of course, the title might be a kind of joke because as screwed up as war is through the eyes of the worried Daniel, it’s possible this is just how war is. So this may be a country like any other. The matter-of-fact plotting puts the attention on the action, not the phrasing. You wonder what will happen. You worry.
This was sharp, smart story and an excellent high note for the Demolition book to go out on.
Having read all thirteen stories, I am now supposed to take stab at saying who wrote what. But the thing is, I couldn’t even guess. Because, it’s like, who knows enough about Ben Cheever’s life or the particulars of Alice Sebold’s style or who Chris Offutt is? Add to that the declaration in the editor/author Marc Parent’s intro that the authors were out to trick the readers, to cover their own tracks or mimic the writing of another author in the Society, and the task is, to me, impossible. I stopped Googling place names and interesting phrases long ago.
The only mystery I really want to solve is: Which story did Rosie O’Donnell write? None of these struck me as the handiwork of someone utterly unskilled in written storytelling. Few wowed me, either, it should be noted. Okay, so, I think Rosie wrote “Sweet,” the strange story of Earl the wandering homeless man. I’m not sure why I think this. My guess is exactly as good as yours. Tie score!

The White Stripes, “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)”

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