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LIKELY STORIES - Metropolis, by B. A. Shapiro

Mysterious story of a man who falls down an elevator shaft.

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, and poetry.

B.A. Shapiro is a New York Times bestselling author. She has won the New England Book Award for Fiction, among other honors. She divides her time with her husband in Boston and Florida.

Metropolis is a story about workers in a warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One day, someone falls down an elevator shaft. One of the workers becomes entangled in the catastrophe. “It’s Rose’s fault. It’s Aetna’s fault. It’s Otis Elevator’s fault. Liddy’s fault. All of the above and none of the above. Zach Davidson hovers at the edge of the crowd, but at six-two, it’s tough to blend into the background. The auctioneer doesn’t know Zach is the recipient of the money from the forthcoming sales, and he wants to keep it that way, although he doesn’t know why this matters. He isn’t even sure why he’s come, unless as some perverse form of self-flagellation” (5).

“It’s been almost four months since it happened, and still no one knows for sure if it was an accident, attempted murder, or even suicide. [It] could be any of them, but it doesn’t make all that much difference. He’s screwed any which way. Damn elevator. Damn Rose. Damn hard luck” (6).

“Zach has owned Metropolis for ten years, bought it at a ridiculously low price in a quasi-legal deal that looked to be the way out of consequences of his bad choices. Although it still belongs to him, however temporarily, he has no idea what’s behind any of the doors. The building had a well-deserved shady reputation when he purchased it, and he concluded he was better off not knowing what people were storing in their units. In retrospect, a little prying might have averted this mess” (6).

To continue, “When the auctioneer unlocks the door of #357, there’s a collective gasp. The interior looks like a stage waiting for the evening performance to commence: a complete upscale office suite, including a desk, bookshelves, and a small conference table surrounded by four chairs. Bizarre. It goes for three-thousand-five hundred dollars” (7)

Metropolis by B.A. Shapiro is an ideal entry to the fine novels from Algonquin Press of Chapel Hill. 5 Stars!

Likely Stories is a production of KWBU.  I’m Jim McKeown.  Join me again next time for Likely Stories, and happy reading!