Pastoralia

Pastoralia

Stories

Book - 2000
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His remarkable first collection of stories was hailed by The New York Times as "the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction." Garrison Keillor called him "wildly funny, pure, generous'all that a great humorist should be." With this new collection, George Saunders takes us even further into the shocking, uproarious and oddly familiar landscape of his imagination.The stories in Pastoralia are set in a slightly skewed version of America, where elements of contemporary life have been merged, twisted, and amplified, casting their absurdity'and our humanity'in a startling new light. Whether he writes a gothic morality tale in which a male exotic dancer is haunted by his maiden aunt from beyond the grave, or about a self-help guru who tells his followers his mission is to discover who's been "crapping in your oatmeal," Saunders's stories are both indelibly strange and vividly real. George Saunders has been identified as a writer in the tradition of Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut?"a savage satirist with a sentimental streak," said The New York Times. In this new collection, Saunders brings greater wisdom and maturity to the worldview he established with CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, leaving no doubt about his place as the brilliant successor to these writers.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2000
ISBN: 9781573221610
1573221619
Characteristics: 188 p. ; 22 cm

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nbradley2
Jul 24, 2017

This short story collection is chock-full of wild, satirical tales with a sharp emotional edge. As always, Saunders writes with a mastery of voice, pacing, and intrigue. Though his stories are often a bit vulgar and grisly, Saunders always writes with a strong intent to make you feel things, and not just shock. Most short stories end on an 'open' note that, I think, forces you to evaluate your emotions at the end of the story; I am still wrestling with I how I felt reading some of these stories weeks later.

I will recommend this collection (and all other Saunders works) until the day I die.

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paul5151
Jan 04, 2016

To paraphrase Saunders "why are the losers in this world being kicked so hard when they're down?" Satire my friends.k

l
lukasevansherman
Mar 30, 2013

Saunders is maybe the most acclaimed short story writer currently working, although I am struggling to figure out why. I just read his latest collection, "Tenth of December," and couldn't get into it. I feel the same way about this earlier book. I think the ideal audience are those who find the irony-heavy humor of "McSweeney's" enjoyable. I just don't get this guy.

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