I’m obviously interested in characters at the lowest point of their lives, making the worst choice of their lives, but how could one possibly make that funny? Incredibly, Tropper knows how, and his One Last Thing Before I Go was the most fun I’ve had with a story in a long time. Silver’s life is so utterly miserable that you come to understand (and almost agree with) why he wants to end it, but his character is so endearing, and Tropper’s writing is so charming that it’s easy to empathetically enjoy this poor man’s misery. If anything—and I’m certainly not accusing Tropper of doing such a thing—the character gives us permission to laugh at our own banal existence. I’m remembering one scene where Silver is simply trying to enter a room (was it a push or pull situation? I don’t remember…) and we’re told “the door, though, is not screwing around, and he bounces off of it…” It’s a small moment, but his feeling that even the inanimate objects around him are not on his side feels familiar and just cracks me up.
This story about a seriously depressed character is actually a great one to read if you’re feeling depressed, and not in the “oh, other people have it worse than me so I should be grateful” kind of way. To me, it’s more like “we’re all depressed and miserable and life is really such a mean joke, so let’s all agree to laugh at it.” Read it. Tell me if you agree.
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