Short story: “A Different Kind of Imperfection”

by look i have opinions

“A Different Kind of Imperfection,” by Thomas Beller

From the February 11, 1991 New Yorker (subscribers can read here); recorded for the November 2011 New Yorker Fiction Podcast (listen online here); collected in Seduction Theory

Wild guess: 10,000 words?

I liked this story but it didn’t grab me. Odd, because I found the protagonist’s situation very interesting: his restless quality, his uneasy relationship with his mother, his attempts to squeeze meaning out of his late father’s notes. The way the character changes at the end makes sense, but it just didn’t move me very much, and his thought process felt no different from that of a lot of young male characters I’ve read. Might come back to this one.