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In Persuasion Nation

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  7,536 ratings  ·  683 reviews
The stories In Persuasion Nation are easily his best work yet. "The Red Bow,"about a town consumed by pet-killing hysteria, won a 2004 National Magazine Award and "Bohemians," the story of two supposed Eastern European widows trying to fit in in suburban USA, is included in The Best American Short Stories 2005. His new book includes both unpublished work, and stories that ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Riverhead Books (first published 2006)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,536 ratings  ·  683 reviews


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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, usa
Not my favorite Saunders, though to be clear, my rating is specifically on a Saunders scale rather than a "compared to all other short story books" type of thing. That may or not be fair (okay, it's not), but it can't really be helped after you've spent enough time with a particular author. Though I enjoyed a few of these quite a bit, the collection as a whole felt like more of a chore than any other collection of his that I've read. In fact, I usually find Saunders to be especially not impatien ...more
Ryan Chapman
Apr 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
George Saunders is like The Onion for the literati. He's hilarious, to be sure, but also capable of parsing the 9/11 reaction by the U.S. in a brilliant five-page allegory.
Mattia Ravasi
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFxG_...
#14 in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIWkw...
Featured in my Top 5 George Saunders Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bc7g...

An amazingly colorful short story collection on the dangers and absurdities of modern consumer society. Some stories are heartwarming and uplifting - like, tearjerking uplifting; some are mercilessly cruel; some are borderline disturbing; none is long or strong enough to mar the fun
...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just through my love of Saunders, I noticed that I read this book again by periodically reading these stories during work breaks.

"The Red Bow" is particularly chilling, and during a dull meeting recently I thought about it and I was like 'Ohhh do you think it's a metaphor for AIDS? The red bow! That the only apparent way to eliminate the disease- during that time when the disease was idiopathic and only gay people seemed to have it- was to eliminate gay people themselves? And didn't that happen
...more
Jessica
Dec 14, 2010 marked it as sampled-a-few
I'm sure this has been said before, but Madison Avenue suffered a grave loss when this guy decided to go into fiction.

I really enjoyed all the stories in the first, ad-themed section, but it's sort of been on a gentle downhill from there. Some of these -- like "The Red Ribbon," the only one I'd read before -- got too message-y for me. Still, I'm liking it. I've been embarrassed in public when it's been revealed that I'm the only one of my friends who has never read George Saunders. I guess this
...more
Yulia
May 07, 2008 marked it as left-unfinished
Shelves: short-stories
He has cute ideas, but he drags them on to the point where they simply become annoying and boring. Reading him is like choosing one food to eat on a deserted island for the rest of your life. Good luck. Is he a cutting social satirist? I would look elsewhere.
Steffi
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immer wieder liest man, dass der Autor von Lincoln im Bardo eigentlich doch eher Meister der kurzen Form sei. Deshalb legte ich mir diesen Band mit Geschichten zu, von dessen sehr schwankender Qualität ich irritiert bin.

Die Geschichten werden in vier Abschnitte unterteilt, denen jeweils ein Zitat aus einem fiktiven(?) Werk mit dem Titel „Aufgabenkatalog für die Neue Nation“ vorangestellt sind. Der erste dieser Abschnitte gefiel mir recht gut, darunter die Titelgeschichte. Das hat was von schöne
...more
Maggie
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Last week I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I was supposed to have spent my summer tracking down supplementary readings for a unit on media manipulation, but as of two days before my due date I hadn't found one single thing. Honestly, I hadn't even bothered to try. In short, I was screwed. Fortunately, a friend came to my rescue by suggesting In Persuasion Nation, a collection of short stories by George Saunders, and it proved perfect for my needs. (And thank God I can read a book in a day. W ...more
Ryandake
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-good-shit
some books, i don't really know what to say, except that i know genius when i read it.

this book of short stories gives a person more to think about life than a rack full of self-help books. Saunders is telling us crucial things about contemporary life in some funny, bitter, outrageous, out-there ways that (at least to my limited skill) defy description.

i guess the most accurate thing i can say about his work is that each story is like a zen koan--just when you think you've got a grip on it, it m
...more
Kristal Kitap
"Bütün gün o bakışlar, o nefret dolu bakışlar aklımdan çıkmadı. Şöyle düşündüm: Eğer onun yerinde ben olsaydım, o kadar nefret dolu olsaydım, ne yapardım? Eh, yapacağım bir şey onu içimde tutup biriktirmek ve bir gece taşmasına izin vermekti. O zaman gizlice düşmanımın evine girerdim, sonra onu ve ailesini uykularında bıçaklardım. Ya da vururdum. Yapardım bunu. Yapmak zorundasınız. İnsan doğası. Ben kimseyi suçlamıyorum."

İkna Ulusu'ndan beni dehşete düşüren onlarca satırdan sadece biri paylaştığ
...more
Abby
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“What America is, to me, is a guy doesn’t want to buy, you let him not buy, you respect his not buying. A guy has a crazy notion different from your crazy notion, you pat him on the back and say, Hey pal, nice crazy notion, let’s go have a beer. America, to me, should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but please, not just one droning glamorous reasonable voice.” (From the story "My Flamboyant Grandson")

Brilliant and weird and funny and m
...more
Sarah Smith
George Saunders seems to have made a pretty solid career for himself by skewering the massively weird and distant ways we consume goods (and by goods here I mean history and information as well as pre-packed food dreck). After reading his last few books I admit I was a little worried for George--it seemed like he had found a good basic situation in CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Pastoralia, mostly the struggle to remain authentically human in a themepark simulation of the real world. These are ...more
pepe abola
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
hypothetically, george saunders is an author i should like. he is unabashedly progressive, very experimental, and witty. also, i loved pretty much everything in "pastoralia." two years ago when i was in graduate school, i held him in the highest esteem, seeing him as something of a descendant of one of my favorites, donald barthelme (yes i am a snobby snob snob snob).

anyhow. this book thoroughly disappointed me. the great stories in it, less than half, were great stories. the rest were all faile
...more
Hazal Çamur
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İlk kısmı sarsıcı ve inanılmaz zekice, ikinci kısım dinleme turu, üçüncü kısım yeniden yükseliş ve dördüncü bölüm kapanış.

George Saunders'ı Phil'in Dehşet Verici Kısa Saltanatı ile tanımıştım. Bu kitabındaki kimi öyküleri Phil'den daha çok sevdiğimi rahatlıkla söyleyebilirim. Yine kara mizahı zaman zaman absürd mizaha kaydırarak yapacağını yapıyor, sözünü sakınmıyor Saunders.

Bu bir öykü kitabı, ama sanmayın ki öyküler birbirinden bağımsız. Aksine, hepsin tüketim toplumunun ve popüler kültürün ç
...more
Yaprak
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
İkna Ulusu tüketim toplumunu yeren distopik öykülerden oluşan bir kitap. Özellikle kitabın ilk bölümündeki öyküler karşısında büyülendim. Kitap ilerledikçe öykülerin benim damak tadıma göre biraz fazla absürt kaçtığını belirtmek zorunda olsam da altlarındaki mesajlar bakımından etkileyiciliğini yitirmedi.

Niran Elçi'nin çevirisi her zamanki akıcılığında, gözümü tırmayalayan birkaç yer olsa da okuma keyfini kaçırmıyor. Aynı şey editörlük için de geçerli, tertemiz bir kitap olmasa da keyifle okunab
...more
Emirhan Aydın
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ünlem, öykü, amerikan
İyi ki varsın George Saunders.
Bennard
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
originally posted on The Short Story Station

“What America is, to me, is a guy doesn’t want to buy, you let him not buy, you respect his not buying. A guy has a crazy notion different from your crazy notion, you pat him on the back and say, Hey pal, nice crazy notion, let’s go have a beer. America, to me, should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but please, not just one droning glamorous reasonable voice.” – Leonard Petrillo, ‘My Flamboya
...more
Josh Friedlander
After a long recess, I’m currently getting back into some fiction... George Saunders is all over lately with his first novel having just come out. Although I happily concede that there is no coherent argument for genre fiction having any lesser stature vs. the 'literary' kind, I just don't like the bulk of it, and seeing the term 'science fiction' bandied about in reviews of Mr Saunders' work had at first kept me away. But his style is more like science-augmented reality, or plain old surrealism ...more
Justin Evans
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I like that every reviewer says this collection is uneven, and then everyone goes on to list different stories as the good ones. It is uneven. My two cents: the more 'experimental' the story in this collection is, the better it is. The whole "looks cynical and ironic... looks a little less cynical... turns out to have a real heart beneath the irony... oh my god I'm in tears" thing only works if you don't jump straight to the tears as we do in 'Christmas', and only works if you don't skip the rea ...more
Drew
In Persuasion Nation's stories' main concern here, at least with most of the stories, seems to be the increasingly blurred line between advertising and regular life. One story's about a reality show that contains its own commercials; another is actually about the characters in commercials (specifically the schlemiels, the ones who always lose out). And most of it comes off as really absurd, especially when you add in other Saunders mainstays like ghosts and corpses. But mostly what I've been thi ...more
Marc
Favorite stories from this collection:
- "I CAN SPEAK!"
- "my flamboyant grandson"
- "93990"
- "bard carrigan, american"

Saunders makes you commiserate with even the worst boss/bad guy because even they are caught up in something grander, a bigger system to which we are all subjects in one form or another. This one comes up just a tad short behind Tenth of December and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (with the latter being my favorite so far).
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The first 4 stories in this book are delightfully, satirically funny! They are very clever commentary on our current American lifestyle.
The very last story (commcomm) has some absolutely hilarious, laugh-out-loud lines poking fun at ultra-religious people and govt. bureaucrat-speak.

The rest of the book (pages 73 through 195) is mostly a waste of time and just plain stupid. I read through them hoping to find more good ones, but they were terrible, especially "93990"!
Beyza Taşdelen
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Saunders son zamanların en iyi öykücülerinden biri olarak nitelendiriliyorsa kesinlikle boş yere değil. Bir iki öyküyü özellikle çok sevdim ve uzun bir süre aklımdan atabileceğimi zannetmiyorum.
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I had the pleasure of getting to talk with legendary author George Saunders for CCLaP's podcast last week, a rare treat given how in demand he is on this latest tour even among the major media; but that meant I had to do some serious cramming in the few weeks leading up to our talk, in that (I guiltily con
...more
David Bjelland
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

And in this way, more were freed.
That is why I came back. I was wrong in life, limited, shrank everything down to my size, and yet, in the end, there was something light-craving within me, which sent me back, and saved me.


In Persuasion Nation occupies a funny spot in the Saunders I've read so far. At times, it feels like the most tossed-off - maybe even juvenile? - collection of his, with stories that have that meandering, flippantly ultra-violent quality of notebook-margin cartoon doodles (see
...more
Çağatay Boz
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
George Saunders'la ilk olarak bu kitap sayesinde tanıştım, iyi ki de tanışmışım. Zira son derece ince bir üslûp ve sade bir dille birinci sınıf kalite hicvi her yazar sunamıyor okura.

Dört bölüm, toplamda on iki öykü, hepsi birbiriyle öyle veya böyle ilintili.

Kitaba adını veren İkna Ulusu adlı öykü çok eğlenceli, bir o kadar da katmanlı.

Aynı şekilde KONUŞABİLİYORUM!™, okuru eğlendirirken inceden ürpertiyor.

Benim Değişimim de çok ilgimi çekti, hele hele "gender" olayının bokunun çıktığı bu gün
...more
Jessica Sullivan
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't love all of the stories in this collection but I still felt lucky to be reading them, if that makes any sense. Saunders has that effect. From self-aware sitcom and commercial characters to recently deceased ghosts, these bitingly hilarious stories are full of absurd, surreal, bizarre people and situations. This is satire with a lot of heart—genre-bending fiction that can best be described as speculative, with a distinct dystopian bent. Themes of totalitarianism, capitalism, consumerism ...more
Jill
Not as enjoyable as Tenth of December but a solid collection of mordant stories nonetheless. More than any other contemporary author I've read, Saunders plays with syntax to dislocate the reader from the text. Words and punctuation that should naturally follow other words and punctuation simply do not follow. The effect carries a chilling punch.

Favorite stories here include I CAN SPEAK TM; My Flamboyant Grandson; Jon; 93990; Brad Carrigan, American.
Seher Andaç
".... Biz coşku ve umutla ilerliyoruz; onlarsa korkuya saplanıp geride kalıyorlar."
Ben özellikle geride kalıyorum. Nasıl böyle göklere çıkarılmış bir yazar olduğunu aklım almadığı için geride kalıyorum. Uzaklaşabildiğimiz kadar uzaklaşalım, okur yazar olarak ayrı kalalım!
Adam
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Summer readers, smartasses, lefties (politically)
I like Saunders, although he does lay it on a bit thick at times. Subtlety is hard to put one's finger on...Anyway, He's got the right take on things, in the sense that he's opinionated in the same way about the same things I am, and expresses those opinions in a very smartass manner. Always willing to be preached to in the choir, here.

There's a dark streak to some of the stories, and the bits of black humor kind of fell flat with me. It was almost as if he's a nice guy who's got a great concept
...more
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4,760 followers
George Saunders was born December 2, 1958 and raised on the south side of Chicago. In 1981 he received a B.S. in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. He worked at Radian International, an environmental engineering firm in Rochester, NY as a technical writer and geophysical engineer from 1989 to 1996. He has also worked in Sumatra on an oil exploration geophysi ...more
“There comes that phase in life when, tired of losing, you decide to stop losing, then continue losing. Then you decide to really stop losing, and continue losing. The losing goes on and on so long you begin to watch with curiosity, wondering how low you can go. ” 60 likes
“America, to me, should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but please, not just one droning glamourous reasonable voice.” 19 likes
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