Tenth of December

Tenth of December Description:

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story and i Tenth of December i is his most honest accessible and moving collection yet br br In the taut opening Victory Lab a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice Does he ignore what he sees or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act In Home a combat damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned And in the title story a stunning meditation on imagination memory and loss a middle aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide only to encounter a troubled young boy who over the course of a fateful morning gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is A hapless deluded owner of an antique store two mothers struggling to do the right thing a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust to love to kill the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of i Tenth of December i are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders signature blend of exuberant prose deep humanity and stylistic innovation br br Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class sex love loss work despair and war Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human br br Unsettling insightful and hilarious the stories in i Tenth of December i through their manic energy their focus on what is redeemable in human beings and their generosity of spirit not only entertain and delight they fulfill Chekhov s dictum that art should prepare us for tenderness i i

Rating: 3.52 out of 5

Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo Description:

In his long awaited first novel American master George Saunders delivers his most original transcendent and moving work yet Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other for no one but Saunders could conceive it br br February The Civil War is less than one year old The fighting has begun in earnest and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long bloody struggle Meanwhile President Lincoln s beloved eleven year old son Willie lies upstairs in the White House gravely ill In a matter of days despite predictions of a recovery Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery My poor boy he was too good for this earth the president says at the time God has called him home Newspapers report that a grief stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy s body br br From that seed of historical truth George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic historical framework into a thrilling supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle gripe commiserate quarrel and enact bizarre acts of penance Within this transitional state called in the Tibetan tradition the bardo a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie s soul br br Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation Formally daring generous in spirit deeply concerned with matters of the heart it is a testament to fiction s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic theatrical panorama of voices living and dead historical and invented to ask a timeless profound question How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end

Rating: 3.62 out of 5

Pastoralia

Pastoralia Description:

From an author named by The New Yorker as one of the Best American Fiction Writers Under a hilarious inventive unforgettable collection of stories br br His remarkable first collection of stories was hailed by The New York Times as the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction Garrison Keillor called him wildly funny pure generous all that a great humorist should be With this new collection George Saunders takes us even further into the shocking uproarious and oddly familiar landscape of his imagination br br The stories in Pastoralia are set in a slightly skewed version of America where elements of contemporary life have been merged twisted and amplified casting their absurdity and our humanity in a startling new light Whether he writes a gothic morality tale in which a male exotic dancer is haunted by his maiden aunt from beyond the grave or about a self help guru who tells his followers his mission is to discover who s been crapping in your oatmeal Saunders s stories are both indelibly strange and vividly real br br George Saunders has been identified as a writer in the tradition of Mark Twain Thomas Pynchon and Kurt Vonnegut a savage satirist with a sentimental streak said The New York Times In this new collection Saunders brings greater wisdom and maturity to the worldview he established with CivilWarLand in Bad Decline leaving no doubt about his place as the brilliant successor to these writers

Rating: 3.79 out of 5

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Description:

Six short stories and a novella Set in a dystopian near future in which America has become little more than a theme park in terminal disrepair they constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary on the current state of the American Dream br br Funny sad bleak weird toxic the future of America as the Free Market runs rampant the environment skids into disarray and civilization dissolves into surreal chaos These wacky brilliant hilarious and entirely original stories cue us in on George Saunder s skewed vision of the legacy we are creating Against the backdrop of our devolvement our own worst tendencies and greatest virtues are weirdly illuminated

Rating: 3.72 out of 5

In Persuasion Nation

In Persuasion Nation Description:

The stories i In Persuasion Nation i are easily his best work yet The Red Bow about a town consumed by pet killing hysteria won a National Magazine Award and Bohemians the story of two supposed Eastern European widows trying to fit in in suburban USA is included in The Best American Short Stories His new book includes both unpublished work and stories that first appeared in The New Yorker Harper s and Esquire The stories in this volume work together as a whole whose impact far exceeds the simple sum of its parts Fans of Saunders know and love him for his sharp and hilarious satirical eye But In Persuasion Nation also includes more personal and poignant pieces that reveal a new kind of emotional conviction in Saunders s writing br br Saunders s work in the last six years has come to be recognized as one of the strongest and most consoling cries in the wilderness of the millennium s political and cultural malaise i In Persuasion Nation i s sophistication and populism should establish Saunders once and for all as this generation s literary voice of wisdom and humor in a time when we need it most

Rating: 3.37 out of 5

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil Description:

From the i New York Times i bestselling author of i Tenth of December i a National Book Award Finalist for Fiction br br In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner large enough for only one resident at a time citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power hungry and tyrannical Phil setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria An i Animal Farm i for the st century this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination spiky humor and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone Over six years in the writing and brilliantly and beautifully packaged this novella is Saunders first stand alone book length work and his first book for adults in five years br br

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

The Braindead Megaphone

The Braindead Megaphone Description:

The breakout book from the funniest writer in America not to mention an official Genius a trade paperback original and his first nonfiction collection ever br br George Saunders s first foray into nonfiction is composed of essays on literature travel and politics At the core of this unique collection are Saunders s travel essays based on his trips to seek out the mysteries of the Buddha Boy of Nepal to attempt to indulge in the extravagant pleasures of Dubai and to join the exploits of the minutemen at the Mexican border Saunders expertly navigates the works of Mark Twain Kurt Vonnegut and Esther Forbes and leads the reader across the rocky political landscape of modern America Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision Saunders s endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker

Rating: 3.54 out of 5

Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness

Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness Description:

b i NEW YORK TIMES i BESTSELLER b br br Three months after George Saunders gave a graduation address at Syracuse University a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of i The New York Times i where its simple uplifting message struck a deep chord Within days it had been shared more than one million times Why Because Saunders s words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder more fulfilling lives Powerful funny and wise i Congratulations by the way i is an inspiring message from one of today s most influential and original writers br br b Praise for i Congratulations by the way i b br b i i b br As slender as a psalm and as heavy b i The New York Times i b br b i i b br The graduating college senior in your life probably just wants money But if you want to impart some heartfelt plainspoken wisdom in addition to a check you can t do much better than i Congratulations by the way i b i Entertainment Weekly i b br br The loving selflessness that George Saunders advises and the interconnectedness that he recognizes couldn t be purer or simpler or more challenging b i Kirkus Reviews i b br b i i b br Warm and tender b i Publishers Weekly i b

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip Description:

Move over Bill Bennett the inimitable short story master George Saunders i Pastoralia i and acclaimed illustrator Lane Smith i The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales i have created an astonishing new book of virtues for the child in all of us Alternately haunting and hilarious i The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip i reaffirms the age old message of the Golden Rule while simultaneously lampooning the great American institutions of social conservatism and religious chauvinism along with its inbred kissing cousin evangelical consumerism p br For as long as anyone can remember the inhabitants of the tiny seaside village of Frip have raised goats eking out a living by supplying the neighboring villages with goat milk For just as long Frip has been plagued by a colony of dim witted multi eyed goat loving aquatic cockleburs known as gappers Each morning the gappers wriggle from the waves to serenade the smelly objects of their affection and each day the weary children of Frip dutifully remove the pests with gapper brushes collect them in gapper sacks and toss them back into the sea p p br As all good things must come to an end in parables allegories and illustrated fables anyway the day soon comes when the staid Frippian monoculture must confront a radically new paradigm More specifically one morning a moderately less stupid gapper realizes that one of the village s three houses is considerably closer to the water s edge than the other two and for efficiency s sake he urges his fellow gappers to concentrate their goat addled adorations on this single location For the neighboring Romo and Ronson families this newly gapperless situation is the occasion for considerable self congratulatory enthusiasm However for young Capable and her recently widowed father who now must treble their gapper brushing sacking and tossing efforts this turn of events is overwhelming p p br Capable s appeals for neighborly assistance are greeted with pompous disbelief Are those gappers our gappers Are those goats our goats and her attempts to get rid of the gappers while ingenious end in failure until she decides upon a course of action so simple and yet so radical that nothing and no one in the village of Frip will ever be the same p p br i Greg Marrs i p p p

Rating: 3.80 out of 5

Fox 8: A Story

Fox 8: A Story Description:

b From the author of the instant i New York Times i bestseller i Tenth of December i comes a darkly comic short story a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environment now available for the first time as an eBook b br br Fox has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack the one his fellow foxes regarded with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes That is until Fox develops a unique skill He teaches himself to speak Yuman by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children s bedtime stories The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people even after danjer arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply sending Fox on a harrowing quest to help save his pack Told with his distinctive blend of humor and pathos i Fox i showcases the extraordinary imaginative talents of George Saunders whom the i New York Times i called the writer for our time br br b Praise for George Saunders and i Tenth of December i b br br The best book you ll read this year more moving and emotionally accessible than anything that has come before i The New York Times Magazine i br br Saunders is a complete original unlike anyone else Dave Eggers br br Affecting and wincingly funny It s no exaggeration to say that the short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction i The Wall Street Journal i br br Subversive hilarious and emotionally piercing Jennifer Egan br br Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny Zadie Smith br br George Saunders makes the all but impossible look effortless We re lucky to have him Jonathan Franzen br br i Tenth of December i isn t just Saunders s most unexpected work yet it s also his best as weird scary and devastating as America itself NPR br br An astoundingly tuned voice graceful dark authentic and funny telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times Thomas Pynchon br br The best short story writer in English alive Mary Karr

Rating: 3.61 out of 5