by George Saunders

DPL Rating:
4
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Review

George Saunders is a brilliant writer and widely unknown until this year.  Tenth of December broke him out into the writing limelight with its wide critical acclaim and appeal.  What I love about Saunders is that his stories start in everyday settings - suburban homes, dysfunctional workplaces, community fundraisers - with ordinary people - awkward teens, an antique collector, a hard working father - but he creates stories around them that exaggerate their unique personalities usually to showcase the ridiculous and dangerous ways we are manipulated by culture.  Somehow he accomplishes this with a disarming wit that tends to make the characters frighteningly relatable rather than absurd and distant.  It always feels familiar even when it pushes the boundaries.

I was impressed with the audiobook’s narrator as the writing can rely a lot on abrupt phrasing and fragments only to find out afterward that it was Saunders himself.  In the future, I think I’ll stick to reading him in print, but to hear an author read from his own writing is a unique experience too.

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