The Friend

A sweet and ferociously well-written book about (or imagining) a friend’s suicide that leaves the narrator caring for his left behind dog, an aging Great Dane named Apollo. But does the friend really die? We have a later section wherein it was botched, the attempt failed, the friend embarrassed, but then the story swings back to life with Apollo again. I admit to breezing quickly through the dog bits, becoming enraged when it seemed like she was about to lose her rent stabilized apartment all for the sake of a dog and then equally enraged by her getting a service dog designation in order to stay. The narrator was very close friends with the suicide/faux suicide, had originally been his student, had seen him through 3 wives. In between plot points she muses about her own students’ writings, so absent of any mention of technology despite their spending 10 hours a day on social media. (Another friend’s kid asks when having a story read to him, ‘When do they go the bathroom?’ and indeed, much of life is usually left out of stories, including technology)