am 1. Mai 2013
I am so grateful to the journalists of the Spiegel because their review of this collection of stories led me to discover this wonderfully talented writer. Saunders can conjure up a whole different world by describing it from the point of view of .... well, rather strange characters. But all of them rendered absolutely believable. If you need proof that words can take you places you did not know existed, Saunders is your man. If I had to compare him to a German writer, I'd pick Kehlmann and the "Ruhm"-stories, but Saunders is even more imaginative.
`Tenth of December' written by George Saunders is latest short story collection made by many times awarded and one of the most admired short story writers. Saunders is known by his previously published collections such as `CivilWarLand in Bad Decline', `Pastoralia' and `In Persuasion Nation' that all have received acclaims both from the literary audience and critics.
Reading George Saunders stories is similar to a dream in which you surely have found yourselves at least once; it seems that you might do everything and still cannot get out of it, even though you might be aware that you are not awake, while a sense of discomfort and disturbance do not stop even when you wake up.
In his latest collection the reader will find 10 stories though the first `Victory Lap' and last `Tenth of December' after which the collection was named are the outstanding achievements, true masterpieces in which the lovers of fiction, especially short stories will enjoy.
`Victory Lap' brings a story about a young man whose life and behavior were so programmed by his parents that he doesn't know what to do witnessing a girl next door to him being abducted. But particularly the last story `Tenth of December' in a great way embodies what makes this author so special, while reader is introduced to a terminally ill man who decides to spare his family his own slow and agonizing death of cancer. He will go outside, hoping for a quick death from freezing, but there he will meet the unexpected person, unhappy boy, who will make him reconsider his decision.
With this story Saunders finishes perhaps his best anthology in which author once again puts reader in many moral dilemmas, in which he leads us to the point where it could be expected for us to make some decisions or judgments, still we are still not able to make them.
`Tenth of December' is certainly an essential and recommended reading for any fan of the Saunders earlier works. If, however, you didn't read this great writer before, you will not make a mistake if you begin this experience with `Tenth of December' because after its last page you will definitely want to read his previous stories.