Justin Evans's Reviews > CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
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Jul 26, 09

bookshelves: fiction
Read in July, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Hm... so reviewers seem to think Saunders was trying to be funny, which is odd; I thought he was doing a Rothko (who, you may or may not know, said he wanted his painting to make people break down and cry.) On the one hand, these stories look like your standard issue pomo cleverness. Lots of possibly meta-theoretical feints and dodges; lots of simulacra; lots of meaninglessness. But it's actually backed up by something: an extraordinary anger and sentimentality. Saunders writes of a world you can't help but despise, and then at the end of his stories it finally hits you that this is *our* world, not a post-apocalyptic nightmare world.
The final story ends with a man entering a rebel camp: ""I'm here to help," I whisper, and the door swings open." George Saunders is here to help. Can't wait to get he rest of his books.
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