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Civilwarland In Bad Decline by George…

Civilwarland In Bad Decline (original 1996; edition 1997)

by George Saunders

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1,534547,331 (4.05)53
Title:Civilwarland In Bad Decline
Authors:George Saunders
Info:Vintage (1997), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders (1996)


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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Terrifying and hilarious, a friend and I read these stories aloud to each other, crying with laughter. You should do the same. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
I enjoyed the stories, but they are all identical in tone and style, which makes them individually forgettable. I didn't think I'd read the final story since it's a novella-length version of all the others, but once I started it I liked it enough to keep going. I recommend reading the novella first. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Dystopian literature is rarely this amusing, but Saunders has the knack of knowing just the right tone to take, to tell us about a company that captures and relocates racoons for harried homeowners, but in fact beats them to death and buries them behind the office. Or about a post-cataclysmic world where there are Normals and Flaweds (all with some genetic mutation such as a vestigial tail, or claws, or a double row of teeth) and where it's legal to round up Flaweds and sell them in the slave market.

John Wyndham's Re-Birth (The Chrysalids in the UK) dealt with similar themes, but while both writers see the world as dark and threatening, Saunders is able to find the humor in even the most horrific events, such as the protagonist being sold to a brothel, and when the claws on his feet are discovered, there's a long discussion by his new owners about how he might accidentally claw a customer, and the brothel would get sued, so he has to be put to doing drive-through hand-jobs.

I expected a lot from Saunders on the strength of Lincoln in the Bardo, and though this volume is quite different, the warmth of Saunders' writing still comes through. He is, for all the dark, and sometimes mean humor, essentially a humane writer, who understands how hard it is to be human in the best of circumstances. And in the worst? Well, we do what we can, and take care of our own. I admit I took a while to warm to the stories, but once I did, I found them quite wonderful. And the author's note taught me more about writing in a few pages than whole volumes of manuals have done. Saunders has found his authentic voice, and it's funny, and touching, and honest. It's also a little grotesque, but that's part of his charm. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Aug 6, 2018 |
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
The Wavemaker Falters
The 400-Pound CE^
Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz
Downtrodden Mary's Campaign of Terror
  lulaa | Jan 31, 2018 |
I'd highly recommend this to anyone coming off a Black Mirror or Westworld binge or anyone still fuming at the election. As always Saunders' characters are remarkably textured for the brevity of his stories. ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
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Whenever a potential big investor comes for the tour the first thing I do is take him out to the transplanted Erie Canal Lock.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679448128, Hardcover)

Funny, sad, bleak, weird, toxic - the future of America as the Free Market runs rampant,the environment skids into disarray, and civilization dissolves into surreal chaos. These wacky, brilliant, hilarious and entirely original stories cue us in on George Saunder's skewed vision of the legacy we are creating. Against the backdrop of our devolvement, our own worst tendencies and greatest virtues are weirdly illuminated.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:02 -0400)

A novella and short stories on a future America, a land of corporate hypocrisy, violence and pollution. Trendy attractions include pickled babies and cows with plexiglass sides, so you can see the milk made, people buy other people's more interesting memories for downloading into their heads.… (more)

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