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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

Published: Penguin Group on Jun 1, 2001
ISBN: 9781101569252
List price: $12.99
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This book of short stories and a novella follows a string of characters whose circumstances increasingly thwart their desires for love, autonomy and acceptance. The voice of each story is infused with its own brand of slang or jargon, whether it’s the television trash talk in “Sea Oak” or the unloved child’s revenge fantasies in “The End of FIRPO in the World.” The stories are connected by a tone of mournfulness for lives that have fallen far short of the characters’ expectations.read more
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Although some will not get the gist of what Saunders is trying to portray, this collection of short stories is one of the most hilariously sarcastic I've ever read. Ingenious.read more
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This collection took a bit for me to warm to, but eventually I did. I wasn't a huge fan of the first two stories but after that, I got interested. So if you like strange satiric writings, try this collection of short stories.read more
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Reviews

This book of short stories and a novella follows a string of characters whose circumstances increasingly thwart their desires for love, autonomy and acceptance. The voice of each story is infused with its own brand of slang or jargon, whether it’s the television trash talk in “Sea Oak” or the unloved child’s revenge fantasies in “The End of FIRPO in the World.” The stories are connected by a tone of mournfulness for lives that have fallen far short of the characters’ expectations.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although some will not get the gist of what Saunders is trying to portray, this collection of short stories is one of the most hilariously sarcastic I've ever read. Ingenious.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This collection took a bit for me to warm to, but eventually I did. I wasn't a huge fan of the first two stories but after that, I got interested. So if you like strange satiric writings, try this collection of short stories.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I bought this book when it first came out. I was working in the DeWitt BN store and the author actually came in looking for his book on the shelf. Well, I couldn't find it because ALL the copies (there should still be one on the shelf!!) were in new fiction. But once I did, he was happy to see it there. I started it, but had a hard time getting into it. I grabbed it the last time I was at my parents' house so I'm going to try it again.
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Mordant cultural satire. What a clever writer Saunders is. I love him.
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George Saunders’ characters are disillusioned, divorced from reality, hopeless, misunderstood, at the end of their rope – or their life, heartbreaking, and hilarious. Some are plain sad, but sad in a distressingly hilarious manner. Black humor seems too mild a term for what Saunders creates in his stories. In “Sea Oak” an eternally optimistic aunt who’s led a thankless existence comes back after death – right from the grave - to straighten out her hapless Jerry Springer Show-ready single-unmarried-mother nieces and waiter-stripper nephew. “You, mister,” Bernie says to me, “are going to start showing your cock.”In “The end of FIRPO in the world,” Cody, a boy whose “rear smelled like hot cotton with additional crap cling-ons” and lives with his mother and her boyfriend “Daryl, that dick” in a house that smells “like cat pee and hamburger blood” comes to a tragic end while planning a “manly” caper meant to show everyone what he’s made of.None of Saunders’ characters are comfortable in life and are usually their own worst enemies. Each story in Pastoralia is supremely inventive and original.
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