Since its publication in , George Saunders’s debut collection has grown in esteem from a cherished cult classic to a masterpiece of the form, inspiring an. CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE. W x T HEN a potential big investor comes for the tour the first thing I always do is take them out to the transplanted Erie. Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella. George Saunders, Author Random House (NY) $22 (0p) ISBN

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It is ungu George Saunders is one of those wonderful discoveries I had last year. For Christmas, I received two books explicitly name checked Wallace on the back cover.

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline – Wikipedia

There is no longer any innocence, only guilt. Good thing Saunders is funny and writes with some hope of redemption, or else you might as well throw yourself off a bridge upon finishing just about any of these stories. It was being plundered of its sensuality every day.

There are certain traits that Saunders and Wallace share. Using lavish grotesque and generously mocking political correctness and hypocrisy George Saunders thrashes everyday life to pitiful trash, reducing the States to the ridiculous dystopia of dark ages.

An absurd parody of a theme park suffering financial setbacks amidst roving teenage vandals. I remember sitting in that office in my sad khakis, watching a storm approach—the darkening sky over the Rustic Village Apartments, the way the crap in the parking lot would start skittering around.

At some point, he starts to get tired. What a thing it was, to suddenly have a real life happening to us, to be in over our heads but glad about it. Sometimes I’ll throw in something about spontaneous mating beneath the box elders.

She would have been on about page 10 by then. But that seems to be Saunders calling card. Working on it was fun: Isabelle is the one uplifting tale in the book. It is witty, downright hilarious at times while uncomfortable at others, and presents a really positive message despite dragging the reader through a world of muck to get there. Declins month’s post-apocalyptic book club selection Having done nothing, I had nothing to lose.


My book baf the unhappy man in me saying to the happy man: He shows their capacity for stupidity, and revenge, and self loathing, but also their resilience and their gigantic hearts. In The Pound CEOthe protagonist is an obese man, bullied by his office colleagues, whose company rids homes of racoon infestations and claims to release them into the wild when in fact they burn the animals and dump them in a pit.

It was Six Flags over Texas, outside Dallas.

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline — George Saunders

And that unique narrative voice — satiric, colloquial, with a finely tuned ear to the banal cadences of the tech world and corporate-speak — is certainly there. On one end, we have characters that are regular people, in terms of the voices Saunders lends them with. No explanations necessary, he would have said; all meanings are contained in the civvilwarland themselves.

The bizarre circumstances and setting are given the spotlight, and though definitely original, I tire easily of indulgent flights of fancy and gimmicky castles in the sand. The book formed slowly, one or two stories a year over seven long years. You have to do it. I loved it so thoroughly that, all the way back to Chicago in the car, I conspired with my sister to build a scale model of it.

Blown away by Saunders’s most recent book of stories, Tenth Of DecemberI was curious about his debut book of stories and a novella, published in Okay, good analogy, but what happens when Papa Nate wants to settle down and not just hear “I love you” but show and perform and have it be shown and performed to him.


Just because you have the power over another life, you should not kill it, smite it, ridicule it, ciivilwarland it or abuse it in any way.

If he were a harmful drug he would not be heroin but rather a ball peen hammer and a shot of El Torro tequila.

There are civilwarlad of Civil War era people haunting the grounds of the fake interactive museum. If there’s a good analog to Saunders I think it’s Vonnegut. In High School we all had to examine how ordinary people could commit terrible atrocities, such as the Nazis and the holocaust, etc. But then something happens that lands him in jail. And even though I read December a year ago, the best of those stories still ni with me in a way that these don’t.

Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella

If Kurt Vonnegut had a redheaded stepchild, that illegitimate heir to the black comedic, satirical throne may be George Saunders. A new mountain has appeared; he can actually see it, his name on it.

At a certain point, this being my third Saunders collection this summer, his stories start to feel claustrophobic. Middle Brother – “Million Dollar Bill” https: That dynamic is a powerful thing that Saunders uses in his stories. And is kind to even his d-bag boss and co-workers who ridicule him about his weight and virginity, and plays cruel tricks on him.