A writer like myself calling out another writer for their work is always a step fraught with peril, but such is life. This said, when I read the opening of this piece, the second of two parts about a troubled man who killed two Appalachian Trial hikers in 1981 and almost did the same with two more earlier this year, I wondered if someone was playing a joke on me:
All manner of animals feast in the deep woods along this lovely stretch of mountains. There are bear and deer. Poisonous snakes and fish shimmering in the creeks. Dreams are hatched beside campfires and the stars seem almost close enough to grasp.
But sometimes, man feasts here as well.
And the killer was hungry.
The way the story goes this juuuuuuuust scrapes by in context, if you squint a lot. But as an opener, well, no.
A friend, upon reading this, privately opined this felt the opening of a pretentious clothing catalog, plus death. This led me to wonder exactly how it would all be comfort-rated.