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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

Stories and a Novella

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eBook published by Random House (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

A New York Times Notable Book

"This book is a rare event: a brilliant new satirist bursting out of the gate in full stride, wildly funny, pure, generous—all that a great humorist should be."—Garrison Keillor

"An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."—Thomas Pynchon

"Scary, hilarious, and unforgettable . . . George Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality."—Tobias Wolff

"A cool satirist and a wicked stylist. The quirkiest and most accomplished short-story debut since Barry Hannah's Airships."—Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review

"Ingenious . . . full of savage humor and originality [and] scorching brilliance . . . the author creates a nightmarish post-apocalyptic world that might have been envisioned by Walt Disney on acid."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The debut of an exciting new voice in fiction. Mr. Saunders writes like the illegitimate offspring of [Nathaniel] West and Kurt Vonnegut, perhaps a distant relative of Mark Leyner and Steven Wright. He's a savage satirist with a sentimental streak who delineates, in these pages, the dark underbelly of the American dream: the losses, delusions, and terrors suffered by the lonely, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden and the plain unlucky. . . . Bizarre events pop up regularly in CivilWarLand like road signs on a highway, directing the reader toward the dark heart of Mr. Saunders's America. What powers the stories along is Mr. Saunders's wonderfully demented language, his ear for absurdity and slang, his own patented blend of psychobabble, techno-talk and existential angst. Mr. Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny."—The New York Times

 

 

 

 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

A New York Times Notable Book

"This book is a rare event: a brilliant new satirist bursting out of the gate in full stride, wildly funny, pure, generous—all that a great humorist should be."—Garrison Keillor

"An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."—Thomas Pynchon

"Scary, hilarious, and unforgettable . . . George Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality."—Tobias Wolff

"A cool satirist and a wicked stylist. The quirkiest and most accomplished short-story debut since Barry Hannah's Airships."—Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review

"Ingenious . . . full of savage humor and originality [and] scorching brilliance . . . the author creates a nightmarish post-apocalyptic world that might have been envisioned by Walt Disney on acid."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The debut of an exciting new voice in fiction. Mr. Saunders writes like the illegitimate offspring of [Nathaniel] West and Kurt Vonnegut, perhaps a distant relative of Mark Leyner and Steven Wright. He's a savage satirist with a sentimental streak who delineates, in these pages, the dark underbelly of the American dream: the losses, delusions, and terrors suffered by the lonely, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden and the plain unlucky. . . . Bizarre events pop up regularly in CivilWarLand like road signs on a highway, directing the reader toward the dark heart of Mr. Saunders's America. What powers the stories along is Mr. Saunders's wonderfully demented language, his ear for absurdity and slang, his own patented blend of psychobabble, techno-talk and existential angst. Mr. Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny."—The New York Times

 

 

 

 

Product Details
eBook (192 pages)
Published: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House
ISBN: 9780307822222
Other books byGeorge Saunders
  • Tenth of December

    Tenth of December
    Stories
    NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • 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 • 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.” NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “The best book you’ll read this year.”—The New York Times Magazine   “A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner   “The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.”—Mary Karr, Time   “A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times   “Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.”—People   “It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”—The Wall Street Journal   GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE

    In Persuasion Nation

    In Persuasion Nation
    From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Talking candy bars, baby geniuses, disappointed mothers, castrated dogs, interned teenagers, and moral fables—all in this hilarious and heartbreaking collection from an author hailed as the heir to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon.   "The first thing you ought to know is that Saunders is the funniest writer in America... [But] Saunders's laughs are a cover, a diversion, beneath which reside some profoundly serious intentions regarding the morality of how we live and hte power of love and immanent death to transform us into vastly better creatures... I can't think of another writer who would try to do what Saunders is doing, or anything close to it. This is an important book."—The Nation "Saunders is a hilarious, wicked, and pitch-perfect satirist of our times, of course, but for a satirist he has a whole lot of heart."—Esquire  

    The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

    The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
    From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, large enough for only one resident at a time, citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power-hungry and tyrannical Phil, setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria. An Animal Farm for the 21st century, this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination, spiky humor, and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone. Over six years in the writing, and brilliantly and beautifully packaged, this novella is Saunders' first stand-alone, book-length work—and his first book for adults in five years.  

    Pastoralia

    Pastoralia
    From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape. One of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Books of the Year "Artful and sophisicated... truly unusual. Imagine Lewis's Babbitt thrown into the backseat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, or Spike Jonze." -- The New York Times "Saunders is a provocateur, a moralist, a zealot, a lefty, and a funny, funny writer, and the stories in Pastoralia delight. We're very luck to have them." -- Esquire

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