Tenth of December Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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The best book you'll read this year (New York Times)
Dazzlingly surreal stories about a failing America (Must Reads Sunday Times)
The best short story writer in English - not "one of", not "arguably", but the Best (Time Magazine)
Riotously imaginative ... From one of the few living masters of the genre (Books of the Year Daily Telegraph)
If you're a fan of dark, disturbing and satirical, George Saunders is your ideal travel companion (Summer Reads Daily Mail)
Funny, poignant - in flashes, deeply moving - light as a feather and consistently weird (Hari Kunzru Guardian)
The no.3 New York Times bestseller. George Saunders's most dazzling short story collection yetSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
So it is with a flagging spirit when this reader realises he is out of his depth in the opening pages of the first story "Victory Lap", when true enough, he encounters the "strange new language" of the characters (promised in the introductory chapter) as they mentally convey their inner thoughts in seemingly real-time fashion. It's the kind of narrative that effectively captures the unprocessed, haphazard thoughts that one has in his or her mind, but it makes for difficult reading, and a lot of getting used to. Thankfully, the story picks up speed and in the action that unfolds with violent speed, the motivations of each character becomes clear, and packs a tighter punch.
In the stories that follow, the reader encounters more of these internal mindscapes of characters who are inevitably disengaged from their realities, which are as pyschedelic as their inner desires, giving the stories a surrealistic veneer. Perhaps the most chilling story (in Chuck Palahniuk fashion) in this collection for me is "The Semplica Girl Diaries", which is made up of diary entries of a recognisably working-class middle-aged family man.Read more ›
I think one of the previous reviewers got it right when he/she highlighted the fact that the amount of colloquialisms and nuances contained within were a problem. There were too many on each page and that made the already stuttering style of prose constantly grind to a halt before I had to look something up or try and decipher some French!
I felt annoyed not being able to persevere further with this but I don't think it was going anywhere for me and reading is supposed to be enjoyable and I just wasn't enjoying this at all. I think my pursuit of Mr Saunders' writing began and ended with that Guardian column which was more free flowing while this book seemed a bit forced and too clever for its own good. Oh well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A collection of short stories lauded by critics with the New York Times claiming it the best book you’ll read this year. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Greta
An intro that takes up 10% of the book and tells us how great the author is (not written by him I hasten to add) just rubbed me the wrong way. Read morePublished 10 days ago by M. King
The blurb on the cover says "The best book you'll read this year" Very true, IF you don't read any other books this year. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Miss Ann Throp
utterly brilliant in it's originality and quality of writing and imaginationPublished 9 months ago by Tim Wainwright
Such observation. An absolute joy from start to finish. Funny and sad and sometimes heartbreaking. But always so very accomplished.Published 10 months ago by Christian Brassington