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4,2 von 5 Sternen
13
4,2 von 5 Sternen
Pastoralia
Format: Kindle Edition|Ändern
Preis:5,35 €


am 9. Mai 2000
Every so often I read a book that shakes me to the bottom of whatever's in me. This is such a book. The title story still has me quaking; I saw the human race in every sentence and had to laugh and mourn. Sea Oak has lines that are howlers, but it's also terrible and touching. Here is a voice as original and truthful as Flannery O' Connor and Franz Kafka. George Saunders portrays our disgrace with great compassion and comic sensibility. This is enlightened writing. Thank you, Mr Saunders.
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am 22. Juni 2000
I finished this book last night and have to say this is one the best books I've read this year. The stories are all about lower-middle-class people with real problems, so real in fact that much of the book is very, very sad, but also very beautiful. Because ultimately what the author is trying to say about these people and these situations is Hey, wake up, look around you, see what's happening, and realize that the world around us has to change. The stories are funny, and true, and many of them are not only excellent stories beautifully written, but are obviously metaphorical and applicable to our real lives, no matter how absurd they may seem on the surface.
I would highly recommend this book. If it gives you any indication, Saunders is on equal footing with other current gifted writers such as David Foster Wallace, Thom Jones, and T.C. Boyle.
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am 22. Juli 2000
There are some very imaginative and witty scenarios played out in the six stories contained within. However, I didn't find them particularly as humorous as I did bleek and disturbing. For instance, there's the man and woman in the title story that play cavepeople to an audience of no one but have to keep up the facade in order to keep a job. Then there's the man who visits a motivational speaker and as he finally musters up the courage to make a drastic change in his life, his dreams come crashing down as he's faced with his reality. The book probably isn't intended to be this dark, but that's the underlying feeling I got from it. I still give Saunders 4 stars for his quirky and off-the-wall writing style. Interpretation is everything with this book.
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am 20. Mai 2000
George Saunders is weird and then some. The America in his short stories is light years away from the picture postcard vision of sun-drenched cornfields swaying in the wind.
In the short story that gives the book its title, Pastoralia is the sort of theme park that would give Disney executives a heart attack. Visitors see people as they lived in past epochs, such as the couple who play Neanderthal cave dwellers, daubing prehistoric paintings on walls, making unintelligible grunting noises and roasting goats. But, there are few visitors to the park and the "cavewoman" Janet is cracking up under the pressure of mounting debts and a drug-addicted son.
She downs a bottle of Jack Daniels bourbon and starts using the sort of expletives no Neanderthal man would know.
In the best and funniest story, Sea Oak, a down-at-heel, bickering family tries to make ends meet in a housing estate that gives new meaning to the term concrete jungle. They spend most of their time mindlessly watching television. The stations have run out of Worst Accidents or When Animals Attack videos and have to resort to The Worst That Could Happen, a half-hour of computer simulations of tragedies that have never happened but theoretically could. A child hit by a train is catapulted into a zoo, where he's eaten by wolves. A man cuts off his hand chopping wood and while staggering screaming for help is picked up by a tornado and dropped on a preschool during recess and lands on a pregnant teacher.
Sea Oak is a modern parable. The family's dead granny comes back from the grave to tell them to get their act together but, unlike the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, she just won't go away, but sits putrefying in her favourite armchair.
"In the morning she's still there, shaking and swearing.
" 'Take the blanket off!' she screams. 'It's time to get this show on the road.'
"I take the blanket off. The smell is not good. One ear is now in her lap. She keeps absentmindedly sticking it back on her head."
Sea Oak is like one long-running sick joke, where you know you shouldn't laugh, but can't help yourself.
Saunders sees humour in misfortune, loneliness and deformity, but it is a cruel humour laced with compassion and that makes his stories not just palatable, but at times moving and wickedly funny.
The misfits he describes are not outcasts to him. The sky may be a different colour on their planet, but the space they inhabit is as real to them as the lives so-called normal people lead.
Not all the stories are consistently good. I read The End of FIRPO In The World three times and still haven't the faintest idea what it's about. But at his best, the arrows that he fires at the alienating culture of urban America hit their mark.
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Contrary to misguided popular belief, some books you can tell by their covers. One glance at the jacket of George Saunders's new story collection, "Pastoralia" -- a plastic deer chained to a light post, with a thought-bubble containing a caveman -- and you know this is a seriously peculiar book and maybe an arrestingly original writer.
He might be bizarre, but Saunders's first book, "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline," was a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award and a New York Times Notable Book. He's won three O. Henry Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and The New Yorker lists the Syracuse creative-writing professor among the 20 best American fiction writers under 40 -- all potentially a blessing or a curse to a writer who has a bright future spitting on media-driven appetites.
But, just like in "Pastoralia," anti-heroes abound, even thrive, in the underbelly of modern America. Saunders is an odd one, but refreshing, nervy and outrageous. He could be a star.
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am 19. Mai 2000
I found this collection almost physically disabling it was so good. I finshed "Sea Oak" and walked around bumping into doorways and shaking my head and laughing and muttering out loud. I don't think stories get any better than "Sea Oak." That story will stand the test of time and should be anthologized widely, although it will take a brave editor to include it. Saunders insists on making his characters think and question. This collection is ruled, always, by a heartfelt cry for decency in a world that seems to have misplaced that trait somewhere. The stories shape themselves around decency. You finish them and you are a better person, and that is as good a definition of high art as any I know. Not only that, Saunders is the most original writer to come along since Cormac McCarthy; it's a voice that can be instantly marked and identified. These stories are filled with a horrific beauty.
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am 6. Juli 2000
Reading this book is like watching a trashy TV talk show on really good acid. Saunders is the best antidote to the boring writers of today, those writers who think that a carefully-rendered quiet story is enough.
Besides, at one point, we're all going to be asked to show our cocks.
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am 26. Mai 2000
Apparently anyone looking on down to trash culture and throwing in enough vulgarity can get a great review these days. There are some genuinely funny moments, but overall these stories are as empty and unsatisfying as a can of E-Z Cheez.
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am 6. Mai 2000
Saunders is back with a new collection and shows no sign of slacking. There are some great stories published here in this collection (many of them previously published in the New Yorker). If you don't already know Saunders, I envy you your moment of discovery. This literary genius's work pulled the proverbial rug out from under my feet the first time I read such stories of his as "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" and "Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror." In this collection, "Sea Oak," "Winky," and the title story stand out as exemplary contemporary fictions. Buy this book! and buy _CivilWarLand in Bad Decline_ if you haven't already!
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am 6. Juli 2000
It's hard to tell if George Saunders' worldview is relentlessly bleak, or if he's creating bleak worlds to show us that ours isn't so bad. His characters are trapped in situations that are infinitely escapable -- or perhaps they're not. There's also a curious religious component to these tales. The lead story, "Pastoralia," repeats Saunders' obsession with fake theme parks. Although the stories here don't have quite the same impact as in "CivilWarLand," they still bring you face to face with your own life choices and your own, dare I say it, whining about life. Evaluation forms figure prominently in these stories as well.
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