Pastoralia by George Saunders

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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


About George Saunders

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George Saunders is the author of Tenth of December; In Persuasion Nation; The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil; Pastoralia; CivilWarLand in Bad Decline; The Braindead Megaphone; and a children's book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. His work appears regularly in the New Yorker, Harper's and GQ. In 2006, he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."
Published June 1, 2001 by Riverhead Books. 210 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Kirkus Reviews

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The freakish, cowed characters filling Saunders's acclaimed debut, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1995), have spawned a new crop of unhappy, scabrously comic campers in these six stories, as the struggle among them to be happy and do the right thing continues.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Pastoralia

Publishers Weekly

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Saunders's extraordinary talent is in top form in his second collection (after CivilWarLand in Bad Decline), in which his vision of a hellishly (and hopefully) exaggerated dystopia of late capitalist

May 01 2000 | Read Full Review of Pastoralia

The Guardian

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Pastoralia by George Saunders 188pp, Bloomsbury, £9.99.

Aug 04 2000 | Read Full Review of Pastoralia

AV Club

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Other stories are equally grim but more internalized: Winky concerns an ineffectual wimp who puts himself through a New Age seminar just to confront his sister, and in The Barber's Unhappiness, a middle-aged slouch still living with his mother ogles passing women, then concocts wild scenarios to ...

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Pastoralia

Austin Chronicle

Most of the laughter seemed to follow rather banal remarks, such as 'Look, it's Andre,' 'Are you sure?' and 'It was nice meeting you too.' Even our 'greatest hits,' the funniest of the 1,200 pre-laugh comments, were not necessarily howlers: 'You don't have to drink, just buy us drinks,' 'She's go...

May 19 2000 | Read Full Review of Pastoralia

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Andrew Giambertone

Andrew Giambertone 8 Nov 2014

Added the book to want to read list