Tenth of December. by George Saunders. Random House. 2013.

Wonderful short stories. The kind of book you pick up and read right through – I did.

Strange mental musings of ‘Everyman’.  Depictions of our mysterious inner lives. People thrust Dec10into highly-charged, weird situations. Places where we stumble and run up difficult life situations, situations revealed through hallucination, stream of consciousness, wanderings of the imagination unexpected turns of event. These are disruptive tales – some are redemptive and in some  we just run into a brick wall.

The stories invite us into fraught situations, where our sympathies are engaged and we become caught up in the lives of people making tragic or heroic decisions. We are involved in life-experiences/ thinking/ beliefs of people from trailer parks to mansions – 0ften both in the same story . The typical experiential world of the people in these stories conveys alienation, fragmentation, confusion, constraint and delusion.

The degree of oppression from society upon the characters is a major aspect of the stories as the author imaginatively explores the effects of social class, or age/disease, family structure, slavery or immoral science.

This may sound depressing, but it is not so. There is a probing humanity in it all which is very satisfying. There is always some insight and revelation.




About thompsondavid

Artist, Italophile, happily retired software person. I read widely and am constantly finding wonderful things to discover and share. BA in English Literature, Masters in Library Science.
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