Toby Harnden

Take the Plunge

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

By

Jonathan Cape 192pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

George Saunders’s six short stories and one novella take the reader on a bizarre odyssey into the dark reaches of the author’s febrile imagination, a world turned upside down and populated by weirdos and inadequates trying to get back on their feet. The mind’s eye conjures up a landscape and characters more like a Far Side cartoon than anything in America’s near future. As with Gary Larson’s drawings, George Saunders’s humour is laced with a wonderfully offbeat brand of satire that is superb when it hits the target. Sometimes, though, you are left wondering why you just don’t get it.

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