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Tenth of December: Stories by George…
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Tenth of December: Stories (edition 2013)

by George Saunders

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1,314825,924 (3.97)121
Member:KatyBee
Title:Tenth of December: Stories
Authors:George Saunders
Info:Random House (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
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Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders

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Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Speaking of sucking somebody's dick, I might consider it in the case of George Saunders. What an amazing collection of short stories! This guy totally deserves all the street cred he's getting with the publication of this collection.

Of course, dark and pessimistic tales are a shoo-in for my approval and affections. This book really couldn't miss.

And that concludes my weak-ass review. ( )
  zenslave | Jan 13, 2015 |
Saunders’ first couple of stories reminded me of Mansfield’s style with limited third person narration revealing the characters’ weaknesses without their awareness of this. In a way, though, it was more overt than Mansfield’s subtler suggestiveness. Still, the first story is full of implication of an interesting kind with Saunders getting into the heads of three characters through whom he introduces other negatively influential people. All this seems to suggest the way we struggle with what other people impose on us, an interesting enough theme made all the more captivating for the way it emerges through one selfish, rather self-satisfied girl, one suppressed boy and one man who’s very much gone off the rails.

Saunders is certainly innovative in this selection too, some of the stories grotesquely futuristic from the ugly mind control in ‘Escape from Spiderhead’ to the awful suspension of poor people in more affluent people’s gardens as some sort of decoration and yet the narrator of the story, the father who buys four of these ‘SGs’ to cheer up his daughter’s birthday party, is well meaning but in a small-time, self-delusory way – it’s a depressing story despite the flares of humour.

Overall I found these stories highly imaginative and pretty depressing. The title story with the terminally ill man saving the life of a boy who had been trying to save him was challenging to follow for quite a bit of it, with Saunders again employing multiple voices in characters’ heads, so that the sadness of the two main characters’ lives emerges. The fact that the terminally ill man decides to allow himself to decline and ide naturally might be seen as some sort of uplifting ending but I’m sure I don’t want to be transformed into some dependent non-me in the final part of my life so the tone for me did not rise at the end. ( )
  evening | Jan 12, 2015 |
A brilliant collection, even if its author pulls too many punches. You can wring a cheery ending from even the darkest of these stories which, for some reason, left me feeling a little disappointed that the depths of despair they hint at are never truly plumbed. However, almost every piece is brilliant, and they vary enough to each be memorable in their own right. An easy recommendation. ( )
  alexrichman | Dec 7, 2014 |
This one is not easy to rate. Some stories were incredibly moving, others so so. The title story? Couldn't finish it. I think the title story was in another collection I read and I wasn't able to read it that time either. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Nov 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised, those Americans who struggle to pay the bills, make the rent, hold onto a job they might detest — folks who find their dreams slipping from their grasp as they frantically tread water, trying to keep from drowning.
 

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George Saundersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lovell, JoelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Three days shy of her fifteenth birthday, Alison Pope paused at the top of the stairs.
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Book description
One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.

In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”
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A collection of stories which includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.… (more)

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