Pastoralia: Stories

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Riverhead Books, 2000 - Fiction - 188 pages
22 Reviews
"If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly original and hauntingly familiar, the characters in these stories bring to life our most absurd tendencies, and allow us to see ourselves in a shocking, uproariously funny new light." "Here you find people who live and work in a simulated, theme-park cave and communicate with their loved ones via fax machine. You encounter a family happily gathered around their favorite form of entertainment, a computer-generated TV show called The Worst That Could Happen. And you hear an upbeat self-help guru sermonize about how figuring out who's been "crapping in your oatmeal" will help raise your self-esteem. With an uncanny sense of how our culture reflects our character, Saunders mixes a deadpan naturalism with a wicked sense of humor to reveal a picture of contemporary America that's both feverishly strange and, through his characters' perseverance, oddly hopeful."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alexrichman - LibraryThing

Saunders can be brilliantly odd with his warped versions of the modern world ... but when the setting is more realistic, the stories become rather predictable. He's an unswerving optimist when it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - byebyelibrary - LibraryThing

Saunders seems only interested in writing about two types of characters. The first is exemplified by the main character in the novella, Pastoralia, a decent sad sack stuck in a humiliating and ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

George Saunders's political novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil was published by Riverhead Trade Paperbacks in September 2005. He is also the author of Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, both New York Times Notable Books, and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, a New York Times children's bestseller. In 2000, The New Yorker named him one of the "Best Writers Under 40." He writes regularly for The New Yorker and Harper's, as well as Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. He won a National Magazine Award for Fiction in 2004 and his work is included in Best American Short Stories 2005. He teaches at Syracuse University.

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