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Tenth of December
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on 17 January 2015
Struggled with this. Loved "Civilwarland in Bad Decline" and "Pastoralia" - a genuinely new satirical voice taking funny and often surreal shots at American sacred cows. This, however, is too dense at times, and seems wilfully weird and abstract, and mostly fails to find the sweet spot we know he can work in. There are some interesting, clever ideas, but they don't really come off with the kind of style I would expect, and a couple of the stories were actually boring - reminded me a bit of the kind of "wacky" attempt at humour you sometimes see in an Aaron Sorkin teleplay. Somewhat disappointing, given my previous experience, and the enormous amount of critical praise and prizes this collection has received.
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on 29 September 2017
Seem to have gone a bit over the top on Mr Saunders work since I read his first collection, this set of short stories feels very accomplished and expansive. A real treat to dip into, in no particular order, and his imaginative and quirky style delivers pretty much every time. He said the title came about cos he liked the sound of it, bonkers
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on 7 September 2017
Each story contains more literary brilliance than most authors achieve in whole books. I read the whole thing on December 10th and only noticed the coincidence afterwards.
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on 10 September 2017
Best writer I have discovered in the last couple of years. I love his language which is not beautiful but so incisive and often very funny. I love it in the same way I love Philip K Dick, Patrick deWitt and Kurt Vonnegut. Such page-turners but at the same time deeply insightful
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on 18 February 2018
Takes you into a parallel universe peopled by dreamers, losers and generally strange individuals. Some stories are complete flights of fancy, others are short and relatively straightforward, sometimes with an unexpected twist, some just ending as if the author has run out of ideas for them. A very interesting reading experience.
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on 9 March 2018
I realise now this is a fine collection. Unfortunately when I started reading these stories I didn’t understand where the author was com8ng from. Now that I do I appreciate the writing and will start all over again.
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on 21 July 2017
Saunders inhabits his own world and what a bizarre,surreal ,savagely funny one it is-full marks from for daring to be different !
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on 8 August 2014
When I started reading this book thought I'd made a bad choice. I initially didn't like the style of writing and was not going to finish it, but, when I read 'Escape from Spiderhead' it totally changed my mind. I was looking up the meaning of one of the drugs mentioned when I stumbled across a description of the way George Saunders writes. It totally changed my view of this book nd the author. I will be reading more of this author in the future.
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on 31 August 2017
One of my favourite collections -- George Saunders doesn't shy away from the bizzarre.
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on 14 February 2015
Brilliant. Much better in audiobook as I stumbled on his style of prose the first time I read it. After listening, I read the book. It benefits from re-reading. The more times I read it, the better I found it. A gem. It's short stories so can be appreciated one piece at a time.
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