Ty's Reviews > Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
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's review

it was ok

As an author, I don't wish to eschew experimentation in writing fiction. Though my own work is generally more linear and less avant-garde, I won't dismiss the concept of playing with plot, wording, format and so on in "novels."

That being said, I have not come across much experimental fiction I enjoy as a reader, and this book didn't break the pattern.

It just gave me a headache. If you have kids, you know how they sometimes play chef, and make you a heaping sandwich with a little bit of everything from the kitchen in it? Things that in our world should never go together in such quantities, but which you pretend is just as much food as anything else is...until you can get rid of the nausea-inducing specimen without them knowing? That's this book's effect.

Or the headache you get when you're on a swing too long. You're not quite barfing, but ugh, I need to get off for a few years. That's this books effect.

The food in that franken-sandwich, and the swing itself are not bad taken in proper proportions in proper times, but both can be overdone, and make us just a little bit ill in one way or the other. Despite the acclaim, Bardo is to me too many disparate formats, stories and styles crammed into one sandwich, rendering it not at all appealing despite some constituent parts that are worth something.

If someone without the pre-existing acclaim of Saunders had written this, it may have been published, and might have even made money. But the Booker Prize? The highest echelon of literature written in English? I have my doubts it would have achieved that acclaim without his name.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 21, 2019 – Shelved
August 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

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