Since its publication in , George Saunders’s debut collection has grown in esteem from a cherished cult classic to a masterpiece of the form, inspiring an. CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE. W x T HEN a potential big investor comes for the tour the first thing I always do is take them out to the transplanted Erie. Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella. George Saunders, Author Random House (NY) $22 (0p) ISBN

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In his violent visions, we see the results of our acceptance of picking on the nerds, the physically less fortunate, the weak and the dumb.

Set in a near-future America which appears to have become one big dilapidated theme park, the bizarre stories and novella of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline are by turns funny, disturbing and moving. His characters wheeze and moan with pathetic life and piss themselves. A tree in a planter in the civilwzrland atrium would drop a few leaves now and then that would stay there on the tile, proof that the inn was real.

Are they in a separate document or what? But ended up having another purpose aside from finding his sister. View all 98 comments.

Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella

Have you ever heard a politically incorrect joke and laughed, and then felt guilty, but then laughed again? Having done nothing, I had nothing to lose.

It seems like they’ve got it pretty bad – but outside, things are even worse: When his boss attacks an animal-rights activist who’s discovered the secret, the worker ends up killing him, and concocts an ill-thought-out plan to take over the company. I haven’t come close to reading the complete DFW bibliography or Saunders’but it still pisses me off to no end that one day that wells going to run prematurely dry. People are either Normal or Flawed, special or mutant, possessed or dispossessed.


Just because you have the power over another life, you should not kill it, smite it, ridicule it, enslave it or abuse it in any way. Had others, loving this much, had it go wrong? Mostly I was using whatever story I happened to have going at the time to get me through the day and give me some minimal sense of control and mastery. I have not made it through season 3 yet. I don’t always need to be told through fiction that the world is horrible — I know that.

Sometimes I did Babel, if Babel had lived in Texas.

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

There are a generation of kids who still drink Gatorade, buy Nikes, and wear Hanes The past couple of months, two activities have dominated my leisure time: They were stern and minimal and tragic and had nothing to do whatsoever with the life I was living or, for that matter, any life I had ever lived.

I remember my Dad, who isn’t an NBA fan, during the MLB strike of ranting about how all professional athletes are overpaid, then pausing and adding “with the civilwaralnd of Michael Jordan. View all 3 comments. An ‘Americana’ theme park called ‘Our Nation’s Bounty. I remember the autumn before the purge, when the Flaweds in our grade school were fitted with bracelets during a surprise assembly.

On the Road] https: George Civilwar,and thinks we are all assholes, and he is probably right. The Four Hundred Pound CEO is also a story well worth reading, hilarious and demonstrative of the hidden and visible crosses we are all forced to bear.

His is not just the gutter, but a glittery and neon bright cesspool meandering into a dog bowl. I just, at civilwarlannd turn, had some feelings about how I might make it better. I work in a similarly unstimulating role and tend to spend much of it daydreaming about books.

I had earned a reputation as the go-to guy where document covers were concerned.

As goofy as the story was, as far-fetched as its premise seemed, I could feel and see the people in it as real people, and I cared about them. I remember sitting in that office in my sad khakis, watching a storm approach—the darkening sky over the Rustic Village Apartments, the way the crap in the parking lot would start skittering around.


Middle Brother – “Million Dollar Bill” https: I told him about my El Salvador plan, expecting him to find it indulgent. I can’t fault it a single sentence. Everyone calls them Guilters.

But I look after her and she squeals with delight when I come home, and the sum total of sadness in the world is less than it would have been.

I knew the void of culture that threatens to suck you in like a black hole. The president and sergeant at arms were standing with brown ankles in the shallow, favorably comparing my Attraction to real surf. I bzd people waiting for me, who love me.

He gets better though: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Sincerity is a thing of the past. Connie and I stood there blinking madly as a Normal janitor named Fabrizi fired up his welding tool.

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Preface

More than anything because of the imaginitive quality of their respective works than anything else. My book civilwarlnad the unhappy man in me saying to the happy man: Michael Jordan was the transcendent athlete, if not public figure, of my childhood. I am illustrating a point mostly with hearsay of spoiler-free Twitter comments. Its stories are balanced and rewarding although kinda declinne occasionallythe Bounty novella is less elegant but quite unforgettable, and overall he can do things in the span of a page that will make your head spin.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. That dynamic is a powerful thing that Saunders uses in his stories.