16 March 2013

Tenth of December, by George Saunders

I had never heard of this book until Mimi Smartypants, whose blog I read semi-regularly, mentioned it and said it is a rare case of a book that absolutely lives up to the hype.* I looked it up and ended up buying the e-book, because it seemed interesting. Next thing I know, I'm seeing references to it everywhere. So why not, I plunged in.

 And I was completely blown away. From the very first story, just wow. These stories are so weird and funny and insightful, I had a hard time putting the book down. It absolutely sucked me in. Not only are the events described the perfect combination of the everyday and the wacky (in one story, for instance, you gradually become aware that this semi-mundane tale of a guy winning the lottery is set in some unspecified future), but the narrative voices are both familiar and strange, exceptionally well realized. I found myself caring fiercely about the characters and sympathizing with them even when they were being sort of awful. It was kind of amazing.

Buy this book. It is phenomenal.

*In the same entry, she also recommended this GQ article about Burning Man, which I also really enjoyed.

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