Tenth of December

Tenth of December

Stories

eBook - 2013
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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 * The Telegraph * 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. . . . 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


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2013
ISBN: 9780812993813
Characteristics: 1 online resource ; 251 pages
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

What I liked about George Saunders’ short story collection Tenth of December is the aspiration in all the stories. All these characters are trying so hard to have a life that isn’t terrible, but they are stymied by the world and their delusions. In the right mood that makes the stories funny, in ... Read More »


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SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

What I liked about George Saunders’ short story collection Tenth of December is the aspiration in all the stories. All these characters are trying so hard to have a life that isn’t terrible, but they are stymied by the world and their delusions. In the right mood that makes the stories funny, in the righter mood that makes them terribly sad. All these people poised right on the teeth of capitalism, about to get ground up by the system in absurd ways. And sometimes they escape.

n
nbradley2
Apr 28, 2017

George Saunders is one of the most noteworthy writers of today. Saunders has an obvious passion for the art and craft of writing. Aspiring writers should pay attention to how Saunders develops voice, point of view, positions of power, prose rhythm, and character-- in addition to how tight his writing is (no bloviated narrative here!). Many of the short stories in this collection would be eternally useful texts to use in creative writing classes ("Victory Lap" is often used in such classes).

George Saunders may be of particular interest to fans of Tobias Wolff and Denis Johnson. As Saunders' writing is usually rich with controversial and disturbing subject matter, readers who prefer clean and wholesome writing probably won't have a fun time with this text. But for those who revel in hilarious takes on the absurd, complex, difficult, and alarming aspects of human life, this collection is a must-read.

DBRL_IdaF Mar 16, 2017

If Kurt Vonnegut and Shirley Jackson had a literary baby, his name would be George Saunders. In this collection of short stories, the element of satire and the narration of innermost thoughts is reminiscent of Vonnegut. While, as in Jackson's stories, a dark undercurrent is often implied without being overtly stated. This is especially evident in "Exhortation", a tale of office memoranda run amok.

"Semplica Girl Diaries" is a story I believe will stick with me for years. It's a satire that prods at American consumerism, reminding us there are consequences both for ourselves and for exploited workers from elsewhere. Parents will groan in recognition at the over-the-top competitiveness of the birthday party circuit.

If you don't understand exactly what is happening on the first page of the first story, stay with it. It will become clear and you will be rewarded for your perseverance.

If you like only straightforward, plot-driven, one-action-follows-another narrative, this book is probably not for you. If you like to try something a little different, give George Saunders a chance.

h
horthhill
Apr 01, 2016

"Tenth of December" by George Saunders was an OK collection of short stories. Of the ten stories, I liked 'Victory Lap' the best followed by 'The Semplica Girl Diaries' and 'The Chivalric Fiasco.' These last two were science fiction-lite. While not all the stories had sci-fi elements, when they were there they created an odd surrealism to the stories. Humourous, maybe, but I didn't find myself laughing. To me they were just OK stories.

e
empbee
Mar 18, 2015

Interesting, satirical, well written stories. Funny and not so funny.

u
uncommonreader
Mar 09, 2015

Not quite up to its effusive praise, this collection of ten stories in nevertheless unique and funny but with substance.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

Saunders rises to his usual level of genius with the best of these stories, though the collection is watered down with several weak entries. Still, he's at his best with "The Semplica Girl Diaries," a deeply disturbing banality-of-evil parody that addresses status insecurity, class divisions, exploitation of the weak, and objectification of humans in a startling and creepy fashion. Other top entries are "Escape from Spiderhead," about experimental manipulation and the nature of compassion, "Home," addressing the PTSD and anger or Iraq War veterans, and the title story, which provides a wholly unique path to averting a suicide attempt.

ruthharris Nov 23, 2014

We would love to have this book at Battery Park City library!

l
lizzay_aldea
Nov 16, 2014

2 Copies please

Thank You

h
HujeBohoc
Sep 04, 2014

In terms of short stories, you can't do much better than this collection.

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