by Ron Currie, Jr.
It can sometimes be hard to find the truly fruitful modern literature, because most of what's popular is fairly standard material, the book club fiction that presents someone in relatively trying or quirky circumstances that may sound like worthwhile material but ultimately isn't. The most egregious recent version of this phenomenon is The Help. It may be a good read, but it is offensive in all the wrong ways. So it's always a treat for me to discover something like Everything Matters!, an overlooked entry that subverts this trend and merely attempts to be good literature, a true challenge, something popular reading can sometimes acknowledge, but maybe not so much at the moment. On the surface, it does seem to be one of the fairly typical McSweaney's experiences, but it's not from McSweaney's, so there's a chance it's more than that. I guess I'll find out!