You want to read a sweet piece of prose, check out Henry Allen’s most recent, and perhaps last, essay for Style. His review of Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of big oil’s beginning, middle, and end starts with the image of an oil-soaked cormorant that became a metaphor for the Persian Gulf War, walked us through the exhibition, tried to tell us something about ourselves, and ended with the oiled water bird.
Allen on Friday got into a scuffle with Style writer Manuel Roig-Franzia after hurling this line about a piece written by Roig-Franzia and Monica Hesse: “This is total crap. It’s the second worst story I have seen in Style in 43 years.”
Readers want to know: What was the number one worst Style story?
I gravitate to Hank Stuever’s prose. The veteran feature writer and editor now reviews television offerings. His long form articles, often edited by Allen, often drove me nuts.
Take his August 27 article: “Wawa vs. Sheetz: Isn’t That Convenient.” The endless article took readers on drives through suburban and small town wastelands on hot summer nights in search of the better of the two.
“They’re just convenience stores,” he wrote, “you shouldn’t think too hard about them. (Fair warning: This story thinks too hard about them.)”
Maddening, a waste of trees!
Is it the worst? Or just the most maddening?
What’s your candidate for the worst Style story you have ever read? Tell us in the comments below.