The Landlord – Wells Tower (Short Story Review)

Landlord – from the New Yorker – Sept 13, 2010

Told in first person, the landlord, I enjoy how the story shows and doesn’t tell.  I love the description of  Armando Colon, a tenant who lives in one of the “worst properties” the landlord owns.  But the man is very different than the stereotype of someone who would be staying in that building.  Armando is “freshly razored”, “his cologne, applied with restraint”, he always pays his rent in person, and supports his extended family in Cali, Columbia.  He reads motivational books as well.

I also liked how the narrator revealed things about his past very subtly, “I’ve lost thirty pounds without a stroke of excercise”, which is about his losing weight because of his anxiety about losing his properties.  “I owned fifty-three properties.  I own fifteen now.”

His descriptions of characters behaviors are very interesting and he chooses unique ways show that: “When my telephone makes the text-message sound, and then makes that sound again every five mintues for an hour, I know that something has gone wrong at the home of Connie Legg.”

“My shrink would interested to hear you say that,” says Rhoda, which devulges that she does in fact see a shrink and gives insight into her mental state in just a few words.

It was a very interesting short and makes me want to read more from Wells Tower.


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