Andover teacher writes dark comedy on life in the suburbs

  • Article by: Shannon Prather , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 16, 2013 - 10:56 PM

The first work of fiction by Scott Wrobel, a newcomer to the ’burbs, is provocative. But it’s not about Andover, he says, but a nameless city tied to no specific locale.

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blackbayApr. 17, 13 9:08 AM

One thing that Mr. Wrobel doesn't understand is that people are basically the same no matter where you go. They have the same positives and negatives. The suburbs don't have a lock on conformity or suppression. Maybe try a small farming town next and ridicule them for being simple hayseeds. Or better yet an inner city ethnic neighborhood and deride them for not being diverse enough. The great thing about the suburbs is that you can always move away Scott. Of course your unhappiness with your own life will follow you from bottom of the bag to bottom of the bag. C'est la vie.

mnmoxieApr. 17, 13 9:34 AM

In defense of the suburbs: I moved to the suburbs because I was sick and tired of being burglarized, fearing for my safety, and wanted to escape the depressing surroundings of the city (East side of St. Paul). We, ironically, live in a cul-de-sac... our kids absolutely love it here. So do we. I am not quite sure what was meant by the material comforts leading to an intellectual "deadness." I actually find that getting away from my former "survival mode" in the city has led to a more peaceful setting in which to expand my intellectual horizons. The focus of our family is the "quality of life" and relationships, not the "quantity of things." My kids (two boys and a girl) have room to breathe out here, trees to climb, forts to build, room to throw a ball, confidence in knowing that your kids are safe if they travel outside eye's distance, lower crime rate... In the city we had none of that. I was robbed, the people (for the most part) were not very friendly, the streets were filled with trash, yards were unkempt, and there was a general feeling of depression. As for the neighborhood portable-firepit parties - love em. There have been deep, lasting friendships made, "it takes a village" type trust built, and a general sense of community being carried out. And I must say that prejudices run deep in every class of community, albeit different ones. I have worked hard in order to achieve this lifestyle that we now live. For this season in our lives, the kids being the ages they are, our financial situation being what it is, I wouldn't trade our suburban life for anything.

BVMannApr. 17, 1312:44 PM

I concur with the previous posters - people vote with their feet, for the large part, so why do most live in the suburbs? There is no perfect life or location, but for most, the suburbs are easily better than the alternatives (45th floor of a downtown condo, isolation in the boondocks, etc.). I think suburbs get an unfair rap from urban or rural extremists.

antisuburbsApr. 17, 13 8:52 PM

"it's not about Andover" um yeah it is. Not that anyone will be able to tell because all of those places are exactly the same.

Apr. 20, 13 2:09 PM

I have taken his class, live in a cul de sac and agree that it was an adjustment moving here from the inner city. A comedy of errors at times when dealing with the "Welcome Wagon" parking spots and unofficial curfews. (I am a bartender, there is no need for my neighbors to inquire about what hours I come and go on weeknights) All that being said, I also know that his humor isn't for everybody and folks are always welcome to not read it. But if you read it and dint like then don't recommend it for the book club. Voila!

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