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Civilwarland In Bad Decline [Paperback]

George Saunders
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Feb 1997

A brilliant collection of stories from the winner of the Folio Prize

A collection of six stories and a novella, CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE introduces an astonishing new voice in American fiction. George Saunders' vision of America's near future is as black and funny as you can get. He takes us on a trip to the shopping malls and theme parks and enviromental hazards that lie just around the chronological corner, introducing us to gang of misfits and losers struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world. Saunders' dialogue is superb, his plots marvellously bizarre: he is an original and uniquely American voice destined to become one of the most important literary discoveries of his generation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Feb 1997)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0099595818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099595816
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"An astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny" (Thomas Pynchon)

"Strangely moving, hilariously unsettling, and unlike anything else you'll read this year" (Esquire)

"[A] brilliant collection of short stories...you can't help loving this outstandingly tasteless and amusing volume" (Philip Hensher Mail on Sunday)

"Hilarious but frightening, cruel yet compassionate...read the first pages of any story slowly and you'll realise how good he is" (James Hepburn Scotland on Sunday)

"The debut of an exciting new voice in fiction...He's a savage satirist with a sentimental streak who delineates the dark underbelly of the American dream. Mr Saunders' satiric vision of America is dark and demented, also ferocious and very funny" (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

About the Author

George Saunders works as a geo-physical engineer in Rochester, N.Y. He has explored for oil in Sumatra, played guitar in a Texas bar band, and worked in a slaughterhouse. He lives in Rochester with his wife and children.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime short story writing 15 Mar 2004
By A Customer
George Saunders is that rarest of things -- a writer of fractured, strange, speculative fiction, driven almost entirely by heart and compassion, with an exquisite prose style that leaves most 'literary' writers in the shade. A synopsis of any one of the stories in this volume would make them sound 'wacky' or self-consciously weird, but this is not at all the experience of reading them. they are heart-breaking stories of down-trodden lives, minimum wage drones in marginalised jobs (the guy who operates the wave-maker machine at a simulated indoors nature park for example), of the new and unusual cruelties that modern life uses to mash up your soul. They are also very, very funny.
For my money, Saunders is one of the current masters of the short story. His prose is flawlessly paced and beautifully wrought. File next to Kurt Vonnegut, if you're in need of some kind of comparison. Or Kafka. Or Chekhov. Or Alice Munro or Grace Paley or Maupassant or or or....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific but unsettling 9 Jun 2008
By Sparky
Every bit as good as Saunders' other collections. The recurrent themes and style of his writing sometimes make his stories feel as if they are all part of one gigantic novel about the American Dream gone sour. There's a real sense of humanity here, too -- like the best satirists, Saunders is angry beause he cares.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good delivery, crazy book 3 April 2013
By Ali
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this for a book group, and it's crazy and upsetting and also sometimes very funny. The first few stories were great, and then it gets a bit repetitive.
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