Paul's Reviews > Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella

Civil War Land in Bad Decline by George Saunders
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's review
Jan 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010

More of the same from Saunders here (though, yes, this is his first collection). Though I thoroughly enjoyed the stories here, I think it's probably the weakest of the three collections I've read. It's a little more homogeneous, like four of the stories involve an artificial stream or river. The America-as-a-corporate-run-simulacra theme consequently gets a liiiiittle tired, but Saunders' control of the language is just remarkable, so who cares. The novella at the end is a bit meandering, though, a little protracted, it's kind of just one tragicomic event leading to the next, to the point where you stop caring because you realize "anything can happen," and it kind of does, and there's no gravitas or consequence to any of it.

Still, it's good. He does what he does well, and what he does is unique.

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