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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Persuasion Nation

George Saunders' In Persuasion Nation was book #28 on my '06 reading list.

With this collection Saunders has added yet another fine achievement to his already impressive resume. The man who brought us the classic CivilWarLand In Bad Decline and its steller follow-up Pastoralia, is back with yet another superb set of satirical short stories that paint a bleak but oddly familiar image of a future society in which consumerism and other social shortfalls have been taken to the extreme. Some of my favorites from the new book include: "Jon", "My Amendment", "Christmas", "Bohemians", "Commcomm", and "I CAN SPEAK" which you can hear Saunders read here.

The book has its own website, so I'd recommend checking that out for more info on the book. It's chock full o' reviews, descriptions, downloads (including Tony Danza reading a Saunders story) and all kinds of other cool stuff. You can also join the Saunders Army and get cool stuff.

"This to me is not America.

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 one droning glamorous reasonable voice." -- excerpt from George Saunders' "My Flamboyant Grandson"

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