Miss Snark Reaches #21

The play was dreadful. Someone had thought it a good idea to drop As You Like It in 1970s Brooklyn. What about Brooklyn or the 1970s --much less the two in the same swallow --is good for Shakespeare? Sam Washburn took his intermission Scotch to the terrace where the other
smokers were. The first thing he overheard from a group of wine-sipping Babyboomers was how intricate the costumes were, how "abulous" they were.

Make it stop.

"It's plainly hideous," a British accent like an old professor hissed as he walked by with his wife. There. Reason. The couple were heading toward the parking lot and Sam suddenly realized that exit was an option. He downed his drink and went back inside the milling crowd to
find his friends. He found them as the lights were dimming and brightening again, an omen which nearly chased him out of the place before he could cite that he wasn't feeling well enough to stay.

The Shakespeare Festival was actually an incredibly nice theater on an arboretum-like forty acres. Sam had grown up going to plays there on field trips (in fifth grade he got in trouble for sticking gum to the bottom of his seat and was made to apologize and clean it up in front of
everyone), taking high school dates there (it was so elegant to go to a play instead of a movie, you almost always got head afterward) and then every Christmas his parents went to see Carol and insisted Sam join them --even through law school.

This year would be no different, even as a partner in his father's law practice -- well, it wasn'tjust his father's anymore --Washburn & Washburn. His father had hung the new sign in place of the twenty-five-year-old "Sam Washburn, Attorney-at-Law" the day Sam finished the bar exam in July. It hung for two menacing months in front of Sam's parking space before he could finally exhale when the good news arrived that he had, indeed, passed the bar. It was still a cruel optimism, that ampersand between their names, and Sam wanted to resent it but then he was always guaranteed a job when he got out of school. Some people weren't Fewer still had had guaranteed jobs from birth.

You've got at least two major things going on, completely unrelated to each other, and a ton of back story.
One of your sentences is 97 words long and has two parenthetical clauses.
Some of the sentences don't make sense to me.
I don't see a lead, buried or otherwise.

I'd stop reading right here and send it back with a rejection, sorry.


Chelsea said...

I agree that there's a lot of backstory here, and it gets kind of muddled, but I also liked where it was going, with the law firm thing and father and son issues. And I liked the voice.

Rowan said...

It was kind of interesting, I was starting to engage with the character so long as we were inside his head at the play. The 'Make it Stop' line was sweet, totally inside his head. Then the digression into backstory. For me, I wanted more follow-through on the scene at the play.

Anonymous said...

I thought Miss Snark had inserted the "Make it stop" comment.

Anonymous said...

Where's the conflict?