Occasional Literary Magazine Reviews: Zoetrope: All-Story


Title: Zoetrope: All-Story

Fall 2012, Vol. 16 No. 3


Theme: Not sure? Maybe scenic landscapes.

Featured Names: Elizabeth McCracken, Jim Gavin, David Means, Lucy Alibar, Abbas Kiarostami (Guest Designer)

What: I don’t read Zoetrope very much. The last time I did though, I thought it was a lot thicker than these 78 pages. There is no editorial content at all. It just starts right in with McCracken’s first story. Maybe its barrenness of editorial content is supposed to be figuratively illustrated by the  photos of expansive skies and mountains inside the mag. (SCORE ONE FOR METAPHORS).

Why (or Why Not to) Read It: The actual semi-gloss paper and the 8 1/2 x 11 size make this an easier read than some of these clunkier and smaller perfect bound books. Though at $8, The Believer is probably a better get for diversity of content. However, I got into the Gavin story, the relationship in “Bermuda” unwinds slowly but fairly predictably; even in that there’s a lot to Gavin’s style to like.  And the full play that the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild was based on is included–and spoiler alert!–Hushpuppie was originally a boy. The play by Alibar alone may be worth the price of admission for fans of the movie, well probably only big fans. Still it was a nice piece to include.

What Else: I don’t know who Abbas Kiarostami is (should I? SHOULD I???), but he gets top billing for his photos over any of the writing. I’d also like to see a few more shorter pieces. And there’s an ad for Divine Fits.

Next Time: Like I said, I’ve never read Zoetrope regularly. I’ll try it a few more times if it happens to end up near me like this one did, but I probably won’t seek it out.

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