Z.Z. Packer, "Gideon"

The condom broke.

(from The Book of Other People)

Except for a little twist, wherein our narrator does something unexpectedly cruel just to test her boyfriend, I felt like I’d read this story before, about the mismatched couple, two mostly good souls languishing in a go-nowhere relationship. The guy, of course, is some kind of talkative blowhard who doesn’t care about The Important Things In Life. The girlfriend does care, is intuitive to a superhuman level, believes herself to be The Smart One. Blah blah blah. There were some provocative, vivid images but boy was I glad when this thing was over.

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