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Tenth of December

Tenth of December [Kindle Edition]

George Saunders
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A joyous, mad, brilliant, laugh-out-loud box of tricks from one of America's most daring writers. Delicious, delicious, delicious. I could read Saunders forever (Liz Jensen)

Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny with a prose style this fine. Saunders is a morally passionate, serious writer, who perfectly expresses the madness of the times we live in. He will be read long after these times have passed (Zadie Smith)

Again and again, Saunders demonstrates that wacky, subversive, formally strange writing is not only not contrary to our nation's capitalist spirit, it's the most natural and effective of responses to it. He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him (Jonathan Franzen)

Saunders reads like Barthelme or Coover, and can be funnier than either (Hari Kunzru, Guardian Books of the Year)

Surreal and puncturing (Margaret Atwood)

Saunders, as an American social and literary critic, may be shaping up as the Orwell of the millennium (The Times)

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

A multifaceted writer, very easy on the surface to pin down but incredibly difficult once you actually read him with any depth (Joshua Ferris)

Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice ... Scary, hilarious and unforgettable (Tobias Wolff)

Like the illegitimate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut ... Mr. Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

Reading George Saunders is, it's safe to say, like no other literary experience. His satirical short stories are set in a kind of Lewis Carroll version of our world, only far, far darker ... surreal, rather moving and deeply angry (Observer)

Both droll and acerbic, his tales cleverly blend slapstick with Orwellian alarm at a society unwilling to safeguard a common morality or independence of thought from the rapacity of an arrogant, aggressive, capitalist ethic (Daily Telegraph)

Riotously imaginative ... There's something so wildly magnanimous about these stories that you want to hit yourself for not thinking this creatively yourself and force them on everyone you meet for the good of mankind .. .Saunders has Kurt Vonnegut's gift of combining antique, high-flown ideas with a strong empathy. Even better, he does not have the sci-fi self-consciousness of Vonnegut (Daily Telegraph)

Dazzingly surreal stories about a failing America (Sunday Times Must Reads)

Masterpieces of surrealist satire (Vanity Fair)

Gripping ... Saunders takes a wry and uncompromising look at life in contemporary America, from everyday occurrences to the downright cruel and mind-boggling, providing quirky voices to bring his authentic stories to life. A strong collection from a master of the short story, it's not one to be missed (Irish Examiner)

His sharp satire and visions of a dystopian future are tempered with warmth and humanity ... Somehow, Saunders forces the reader to consider our dysfunctional world without ever preaching. Every page is packed with laughs; astute observations with deep implications are never far away either ... This is a brilliant, trenchant and hilarious collection (Independent)

His nuanced explorations of character are achieved with an impressively light touch (Luke Neima Times Literary Supplement)

These are stories of integrity and authenticity, often wildly inventive. The raw nerve endings of these blue-collar tragedies are insulated by playfulness, humour and heart (Martin Fletcher Independent)

The stories are self-contained and I get a feel for the characters quickly. Each is like a little novel in its own right (James Patterson Daily Mail)

What Saunders does is invent an alternative America - which is, in fact completely today's America (David Sedaris Vogue)

For more than a decade, George Saunders has been the best short story writer in English - not 'one of', not 'arguably', but the Best ... George's work is a stiff tonic for the vapid agony of contemporary living - great art from the greatest guy (Time Magazine)

Mad, hilarious and downright terrifying ... A hilarious, twisted treat (Shortlist)

Awesome (Maggie Gyllenhaal People)

Relentless humor and beatific generosity of spirit keep his highly moral tales from succumbing to life's darker aspects (International New York Times Notable Books of 2013)

Stories with heft and heart told in a style that is genuinely daring ... Saunders rewrites smallness into greatness (Paul Lynch Irish Times Book of the Year)

A jaw-droppingly good selection of short stories from America's master storyteller (Patricia Nicol Metro Books of the Year)

Masterful (Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph Books of the Year)

A riotously imaginative collection of short stories, from one of the few living masters of the genre (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description


The no.3 New York Times bestseller. George Saunders's most dazzling short story collection yet

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 566 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 140883734X
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (3 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0093K1QEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly *a* master of the short story... 16 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to write here to balance out the inexplicable one- and two-star reviews this brilliant work has so far received on UK Amazon.

Though I would take issue with the publishers' claim that George Saunders is "the undisputed master of the short story" - how can ANYONE be the undisputed ANYTHING? There'll always be dispute! - he is definitely "at the height of his powers" (to use another overused back-of-book phrase) and certainly *a* master of the form.

I laughed out loud at some of the stories in this collection. His dialogue in particular is priceless. People who call these "grim and depressing" ought perhaps to stick to the stories in Take A Break magazine. The humour is dark, but it's not inhumane; in fact a deep humanity runs beneath all these stories.

They are gripping, beautifully structured, original and often hilarious; one of the best collections I've read in the last few years - and I have read many.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satire Light 15 Jun 2013
By Keizu
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is nothing frivolous about these stories. But Saunders has a way of forcing you to examine the underbelly of things without making you feel awful. His characters are pathetic, but impossible not to like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 21st century Swift 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A distinctive and very dark voice. The Semplica Diaries is particularly chilling: Jonathan Swift would have been proud of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER
`Tenth of December' written by George Saunders is latest short story collection made by many times awarded and one of the most admired short story writers. Saunders is known by his previously published collections such as `CivilWarLand in Bad Decline', `Pastoralia' and `In Persuasion Nation' that all have received acclaims both from the literary audience and critics.

Reading George Saunders stories is similar to a dream in which you surely have found yourselves at least once; it seems that you might do everything and still cannot get out of it, even though you might be aware that you are not awake, while a sense of discomfort and disturbance do not stop even when you wake up.

In his latest collection the reader will find 10 stories though the first `Victory Lap' and last `Tenth of December' after which the collection was named are the outstanding achievements, true masterpieces in which the lovers of fiction, especially short stories will enjoy.

`Victory Lap' brings a story about a young man whose life and behavior were so programmed by his parents that he doesn't know what to do witnessing a girl next door to him being abducted. But particularly the last story `Tenth of December' in a great way embodies what makes this author so special, while reader is introduced to a terminally ill man who decides to spare his family his own slow and agonizing death of cancer. He will go outside, hoping for a quick death from freezing, but there he will meet the unexpected person, unhappy boy, who will make him reconsider his decision.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual tales 16 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good collection - some real stand out ones (such as The Semplica Girl Diaries) but some were a bit too odd for my liking. However, good to read something different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The short story has finally evolved... 7 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Each story is crisp, fresh, and mind blowingly original. These are stories to be read and favoured over and over again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly imaginative 14 Feb 2013
Really enjoyed reading these highly imaginative short stories, put me in mind of the American imaginative fiction I was reading when Vonnegut first came on the scene.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of everyday sadness 11 Feb 2013
Saunders most recent collection has a melancholy muscle that fires each tale with a sadness at the decay and failing in everyday life. The fiction and near science fictions share similar themes and stylistic traits despite covering many different characters and scenarios, from an family struggling to keep up with the jones to an angry returning serviceman and a rule-bound kid, a similar vision of western culture appears, aspiration all yet failing, bombarding yet ever-remote. The tales range from the funny (My Chivalric Fiasco) to the tensely dramatic (The tenth of December) but each drives forward with dialogue or internal monologue revealing the gaps, lapses, failings and forlorn in our world. Essential.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird but wonderful
How refreshing to read stories that are pitch perfect. Not a word out of place.

Looking forward to the next one.
Published 2 months ago by davidmacgowan
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Do Things With Words
This is a book about the way language can enforce a world. Saunders relies heavily on the precise tone and register of his character's words, often written first person, to imply... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Freelancer Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing collection
Quite unlike any short stories I've read before, a celebration of the human spirit which keeps appearing despite our own best efforts to stifle it.
Published 3 months ago by Paddock Kindles
3.0 out of 5 stars Tenth of December
Its ok but you can get confused at times wi;th the stories but short stories are good when travelling on public transport
Published 3 months ago by glamgran
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it
This book has recently won a major prize. I find that bewildering. May be it's an American thing. I feel it reads as if the author just poured out what was in his head onto the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian Morris
2.0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible short stories
These have too many colloquialisms I did not understand. Also I prefer to read whole sentences rather than staccato words. Then I would have known who was speaking.
Published 3 months ago by B E Rogers
1.0 out of 5 stars Popular is not always good,
Awful! Mannered, over ambitious,incomprehensible,egotistic,unreadable. Typical example of overhyped vacuous, fashionable, pretentious literary posing with no merit or any real... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. I. Rabinowitz
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
This is a grossly overpraised pretentious book which may be liked by American university English Literature Departments, but seems, by British standards, to be self-indulgent and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Professor Edward Garden
4.0 out of 5 stars Short stories
A collection of short stories is only as good as its weakest story...

Perhaps that’s a bit harsh, but in a collection of stories where the writer has actually written... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MisterHobgoblin
5.0 out of 5 stars The voice of a master
The writing, the ideas, the wisdom and the horror: all this is part of George Saunder's particular dystopic vision. I would recommend that everyone read it and beware.
Published 4 months ago by debcwise
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