It turns out that the previous Adrian story in The New Yorker, which I liked very much, was an excerpt from the novel that he’s now finishing up. It looks like this one, which I like far less, is, too. See the Q&A with Chris Adrian.
Here we have Molly, the teen daughter of the Carters and a member of the Carter Family Band, a Partridge Family clone that sings Christian-themed songs written by the father. It’s a big family that is supplemented by foster kids, currently Paul, who prefers the name Peabo. There apparently has been a long stream of foster kids, and we get the impression that they’re always black. This one is fairly compliant—he shakes his tambourine in the band, is polite about the food—but there seems to be a connection between Molly and him. And that gets Paul/Peabo kicked out in a record short time. And it isn’t Peabo’s fault, really, but Molly looks to be heading that direction as well.
I can’t tell you how much I didn’t care. The story is too long for such a weak climax and ending. Way too long.
September 27, 2010: “The Warm Fuzzies” by Chris Adrian