Top positive review
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Certainly *a* master of the short story...
on 16 January 2013
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.