Tenth of December (Folio Prize winner 2014)

Tenth of December (Folio Prize winner 2014)

Paperback

By (author) George Saunders

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 25mm | 206g
  • Publication date: 2 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1408837366
  • ISBN 13: 9781408837368
  • Sales rank: 6,261

Product description

With an introduction from the New York Times by Joel Lovell George Saunders' most wryly hilarious and disturbing collection yet, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of DarkenfloxxTM in some unusual drug trials; and Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. With dark visions of the future riffing against ghosts of the past and the ever-settling present, this collection sings with astonishing charm and intensity.

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Author information

At one point a geophysical engineer, MacArthur Fellowship winner George Saunders is an acclaimed writer of short stories, essays, novellas and children's books. His work includes the story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award, Pastoralia and In Persuasion Nation, one of only three finalists for The Story Prize in 2006. He has also won prizes for his bestselling children's book The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, has written a book of essays entitled The Brain-Dead Megaphone and his most recent collection, Tenth of December, is a New York Times bestseller. He currently teaches Creative Writing at Syracuse University, New York, and writes regularly for GQ, Harper's and The New Yorker, who in 2002 named him one of the 'Best Writers Under 40'. Tenth of December was shortlisted for both the National Book Award and the 2014 Folio Prize. He lives in New York with his family.

Review quote

A joyous, mad, brilliant, laugh-out-loud box of tricks from one of America's most daring writers. Delicious, delicious, delicious. I could read Saunders forever Liz Jensen Again and again, Saunders demonstrates that wacky, subversive, formally strange writing is not only not contrary to our nation's capitalist spirit, it's the most natural and effective of responses to it. He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him Jonathan Franzen Saunders reads like Barthelme or Coover, and can be funnier than either Hari Kunzru, Guardian Books of the Year Surreal and puncturing Margaret Atwood Saunders, as an American social and literary critic, may be shaping up as the Orwell of the millennium The Times An astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic, and funny Thomas Pynchon A multifaceted writer, very easy on the surface to pin down but incredibly difficult once you actually read him with any depth Joshua Ferris Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice ... Scary, hilarious and unforgettable Tobias Wolff Like the illegitimate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut ... Mr. Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Reading George Saunders is, it's safe to say, like no other literary experience. His satirical short stories are set in a kind of Lewis Carroll version of our world, only far, far darker ... surreal, rather moving and deeply angry Observer Both droll and acerbic, his tales cleverly blend slapstick with Orwellian alarm at a society unwilling to safeguard a common morality or independence of thought from the rapacity of an arrogant, aggressive, capitalist ethic Daily Telegraph Riotously imaginative ... There's something so wildly magnanimous about these stories that you want to hit yourself for not thinking this creatively yourself and force them on everyone you meet for the good of mankind .. .Saunders has Kurt Vonnegut's gift of combining antique, high-flown ideas with a strong empathy. Even better, he does not have the sci-fi self-consciousness of Vonnegut Daily Telegraph Dazzingly surreal stories about a failing America Sunday Times Must Reads Masterpieces of surrealist satire Vanity Fair Gripping ... Saunders takes a wry and uncompromising look at life in contemporary America, from everyday occurrences to the downright cruel and mind-boggling, providing quirky voices to bring his authentic stories to life. A strong collection from a master of the short story, it's not one to be missed Irish Examiner His sharp satire and visions of a dystopian future are tempered with warmth and humanity ... Somehow, Saunders forces the reader to consider our dysfunctional world without ever preaching. Every page is packed with laughs; astute observations with deep implications are never far away either ... This is a brilliant, trenchant and hilarious collection Independent His nuanced explorations of character are achieved with an impressively light touch -- Luke Neima Times Literary Supplement These are stories of integrity and authenticity, often wildly inventive. The raw nerve endings of these blue-collar tragedies are insulated by playfulness, humour and heart -- Martin Fletcher Independent The stories are self-contained and I get a feel for the characters quickly. Each is like a little novel in its own right -- James Patterson Daily Mail What Saunders does is invent an alternative America - which is, in fact completely today's America -- David Sedaris Vogue For more than a decade, George Saunders has been the best short story writer in English - not 'one of', not 'arguably', but the Best ... George's work is a stiff tonic for the vapid agony of contemporary living - great art from the greatest guy Time Magazine Mad, hilarious and downright terrifying ... A hilarious, twisted treat Shortlist Awesome -- Maggie Gyllenhaal People Relentless humor and beatific generosity of spirit keep his highly moral tales from succumbing to life's darker aspects International New York Times Notable Books of 2013 Stories with heft and heart told in a style that is genuinely daring ... Saunders rewrites smallness into greatness -- Paul Lynch Irish Times Book of the Year A jaw-droppingly good selection of short stories from America's master storyteller -- Patricia Nicol Metro Books of the Year Masterful -- Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph Books of the Year A riotously imaginative collection of short stories, from one of the few living masters of the genre Daily Telegraph