If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly original and hauntingly familiar, the characters in these stories bring to life our most absurd tendencies, and allow us to see ourselves in a shocking, uproariously funny new light.
Here you find people who live and work in a simulated, theme-park cave and communicate with their loved ones via fax machine. You encounter a family happily gathered around their favorite form of entertainment, a computer-generated TV show called The Worst That Could Happen. And you hear an upbeat self-help guru sermonize about how figuring out who's been "crapping in your oatmeal" will help raise your self-esteem. With an uncanny sense of how our culture reflects our character, Saunders mixes a deadpan naturalism with a wicked sense of humor to reveal a picture of contemporary America that's both feverishly strange and, through his characters' perseverance, oddly hopeful.
This second collection of satirical stories by George Saunders concentrates on failure and fear in an eccentric group of characters, which include Janet (who plays a theme-park cavewoman in the title story), a man who works in a strip club (in "Sea Oak"), and a toeless man who lives with his mother (in "The Barber's Unhappiness").
- Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary Genres + Types of Novels
- June 1, 2001
- June 1, 2001
- George Saunders