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Tenth of December: Stories (2013)

by George Saunders

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,8621543,439 (3.95)191
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.
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English (153)  Dutch (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 153 (next | show all)
Just a bit too much "style" for my taste. Fine writing, somewhat interesting, started skipping immediately. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
These stories take place in that (familiar) slice of venn diagram where "sympathetic" and "pathetic" overlap. Feels like what would happen if Chris Ware wrote prose. ( )
  jimctierney | Jul 7, 2020 |
Lovely that these are hilarious, complex, completely unique. Nice to see this shot in the arm to the usual dull as ditch water kind of story favored in "literary" fiction. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
Dystopian stories with hearts of gold. Saunders has an uncanny ability to transcribe those weird, only partly formed little thoughts we have and weave them into powerful, and funny, narratives. A unique book. ( )
  nancyjean19 | Jun 3, 2020 |
George Saunders is a fantastic writer. The way he writes environments, settings, and emotions pulled me completely into the worlds of the short stories in this collection. The stories were a little hit or miss for me - I adored "Escape from Spiderhead" (I would read a 400 page novel about the world he creates there) and "The Semplica Girl Diaries" but didn't love "Exhortation" or "Al Roosten." Overall this was a great collection of short stories and I'll be picking more Saunders up in the future. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 153 (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.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saunders, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Damsma, HarmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lovell, JoelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Pat Pacino
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Three days shy of her fifteenth birthday, Alison Pope paused at the top of the stairs.
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Based on the experience of my life, which I have not exactly hit out of the park, I tend to agree with that thing about, If it's not broke, don't fix it. And would go even further to: Even if it is broke, leave it alone, you'll probably make it worse.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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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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