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ITSY BITSY FRITSY

No title

By Chuck S-L, member

May 2, 2010: "Of course he died and then there was nothing left to do but eat him. You know how it is."

Itsy Bitsy Fritsy wields a clever high concept with in a fun, whimsical delivery that makes for a worthwhile read. Fritzi’s narrative voice is strong and consistently entertaining—the action is fast-paced and recounted with flair. The story utilizes its blog format well, with meta-textual references and in-character comments that feel well-placed within the framing device.

The story is at its best when it highlights the fact that its narrator is a spider speaking to her readership from her particular vantage point. The grammatical wordplay can veer towards gimmickry from time to time (a cutesy play on the iPhone brand among them), but the story rolls when our spider characters are moving like spiders and reacting to their environment like spiders. Fritzi’s schemes are clever both for their inventiveness and for the way that they play off her misunderstanding of the human body.

Unfortunately, too often I felt that the story wasn’t trying hard enough to delve into the experience of being a spider. Crucial description—of other spiders, of the environment, and the man and his cat—felt lacking. This dampened some of the dramatic tension; it was hard to root for Fritzi in her struggle against faceless villains. More small details would have been hugely advantageous—what does Fritzi think of the decor? Of the man’s facial or body hair? Her commentary comes in too rarely, sacrificed too often for the sake of pushing the narrative forward. A story like this can thrive on perspective first, plot second; it’s a shame the backstory and the environment, from the HSA to the layout of the kitchen, weren’t given more room to breathe.

Missed opportunities aside, this is a fun and brisk read with plenty of charming and funny moments to spare.

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
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