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Tenth of December : Stories
by George Saunders




Overview -
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND BUZZFEED - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People - The New York Times Magazine - NPR - Entertainment Weekly - New York - The Telegraph - BuzzFeed - Kirkus Reviews - BookPage - Shelf Awareness

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."

GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE

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More About Tenth of December by George Saunders

 
 
 

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND BUZZFEED - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People - The New York Times Magazine - NPR - Entertainment Weekly - New York - The Telegraph - BuzzFeed - Kirkus Reviews - BookPage - Shelf Awareness

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."

GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE


This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812993806
  • ISBN-10: 0812993802
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: January 2013
  • Page Count: 251
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The humanity of Saunders' absurdism

George Saunders is one of the masters of the difficult art of the short story. In his latest collection, Tenth of December, wounded characters confront situations that range from slightly skewed to downright Orwellian.

In “Victory Lap,” a teenaged boy prevents a catastrophe by breaking all the rules his smothering, control-freak parents have laid down for him. In “Escape From Spiderhead,” prisoners are subjected to high-tech Milgramesque experiments where their emotions are manipulated, effortlessly, by intravenous drugs. The point of the exercise is uncertain to the prisoners, the experimenters and the reader, and the story is so matter of fact in its depiction of horror that the reader almost wishes she’d never read it. This is not the last story in which impossible but cleverly named psychotropic drugs will mess with the insides of people’s heads.

Saunders is a brilliant observer of weirdness—and a fierce believer in human connections.

Most of the stories are narrated by men, or have men as their protagonists. The boys are outsiders, either too fat or too nerdy, and many of the men have soul-crushing and even bizarre jobs. In “Exhortation,” a director urges his staff to keep up their “positive energy” for some task that has a whiff of both uselessness and nefariousness about it, lest their shady overlords grow extremely displeased.

At last, the reader comes to the title story. It’s about an unpopular schoolboy, a dying man and a frozen lake. A masterpiece that reveals the power of stubborn love and redemption, it seems, in a strange way, to make the suffering in the other stories worthwhile. In Tenth of December, Saunders proves that he’s both a brilliant observer of weirdness and a fierce believer in the connections that keep people going.

 

BAM Customer Reviews