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Tenth of December

Stories
Saunders, George (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Tenth of December
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A collection of stories that 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.
Authors: Saunders, George, 1958-
Title: Tenth of December
stories
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 251 p. ;,22 cm.
Contents: Victory lap
Sticks
Puppy
Escape from Spiderhead
Exhortation
Al Roosten
The semplica girl diaries
Home
My chivalric fiasco
Tenth of December.
Summary: A collection of stories that 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.
Alternate Title: 10th of December
ISBN: 9780812993806
0812993802
Statement of Responsibility: George Saunders
Genre/Form: Short stories.
LCCN: 2012013782
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Library Staff

Saunders considers himself a disciple of Twain and Vonnegut and his stories certainly display the biting satire to prove it. In his latest collection he brings to life the fantasies of his beleaguered characters, surprising readers with the intensity of their inner emotions. In one story he taps... Read More »


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Bizarre, surreal stealthily funny...for fans of Vonnegnt.

Jun 16, 2014
  • NFN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wildly original stories that surprise, challenge and entertain.

Feb 04, 2014
  • bsevertsen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best compilations I've read - very memorable stories.

Jan 22, 2014
  • lucyiv2 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Loved it! Yes, some of the stories are weird, but my gosh, they really make you think. The writing is excellent.

Jan 18, 2014
  • Raun rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I could not find one good thing to say about this book of short stories. Not engaging, not meaningful. I picked up this one based on reviews. I must be missing something here. Perhaps this one is best left to the literary types ...

Jan 10, 2014
  • dbarry111 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I agree with lucas's comment below...I was very disap,pointed with this book. I heard him interviewed on Face the Nation and was expecting to be really absorbed by a compelling story told with wit. But I found the stories odd, idiosyncratic, and not in a way that was intriguing. I've read Donald Barthelme and other "post-modern" writers who play with language and I've liked, but these stories didn't hold together. I didn't find them emotionally compelling, which I thought I would have.

Dec 26, 2013
  • Jane60201 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is one strange book. At times funny and at times just plain weird. Definitely one of a kind.

Sep 04, 2013
  • ohialehuadef rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My first reading of George Saunders - wow. Loved these stories, some stronger than others, but all thought provoking and moving. I must say I had trouble reading most of these in one sitting - more because they challenged my thinking, made me uncomfortable, made me want to take a breather - great writing! Very Kurt Vonnegutesque for the new millennium...

If Picasso were a writer this would be the book he would have written.
So if you think Picasso was a great artist who created works of art
from the scratchings of two pencil lines and read Vonnegut with delight then you will like this book.

It just does not work for me.
Give me Alice Munro any day.

Jun 08, 2013
  • ColemanRidge rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Saunders is often said to be funny, and just is not. He is witty and has an eye for absurd situations and ridiculous characters, but his characters are often trying to handle terrible trouble. These are the kinds of stories people tell years later about how they fucked up and got in terrible trouble and got through somehow, or got partly through somehow. There are parts where you laugh, but they are not funny stories.

I think critics say he's funny because they cannot but like him, and because in reality he is so passionate about his characters that he is always in danger of missing and lurching off-balance into sentimentality. This is anathema to current taste, so he hides it as best he can behind wit, and his critics politely focus on the wit.

What Saunders does because he cares so much about his characters, though, is let them struggle to fix things. He does not vivisect his characters and leave them pinned for inspection, as many other short story writers do. He lets them fight for self-control, take the least bad option, change course when faced with disaster, and listen, occasionally, to advice. In one story, a kid fallen through ice decides to really try. He lets them really try.

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