james hamblin

3 GREAT STORIES: Starring Atkins, custard, & Stuart Scott

Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.

Getting back with carbs (1/9/15, The Atlantic): Sometimes it all comes down to tone.

Strike the wrong tone for a story, and it will stick out like a cactus spine.

Strike the right tone, and it will flow like a waterfall.

In this case, The Atlantic strikes it right.

James Hamblin authors this piece about the redesigned Atkins diet — It limits protein! It allows for carbs! — and treats it with all the skepticism of a Daily Show correspondent. The wariness is warranted, as Hamblin chronicles the history of the diet and its several mutations.

The article is informative and entertaining, and it is accompanied by cartoon graphics and a musing sub-headline, all the underscore the curiosity of its subject:

“The reinvented Atkins diet flirts with reason.”