2021 Lincoln sale in the Bardo: wholesale A Novel outlet online sale

2021 Lincoln sale in the Bardo: wholesale A Novel outlet online sale

2021 Lincoln sale in the Bardo: wholesale A Novel outlet online sale

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***WINNER OF THE 2018 AUDIE AWARD FOR AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR***

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented


February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo
 is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance:
 
Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN
David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III
Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS
George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS
Miranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORD
Lena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNOR
Ben Stiller as JACK MANDERS
Julianne Moore as JANE ELLIS
Susan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASS
Bradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONE
Bill Hader as EDDIE BARON
Megan Mullally as BETSY BARON
Rainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIER
Jeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCE
Kat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLE
Jeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMER
Mike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIX
Keegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELL
Don Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENS
and
Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT
with
Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN,
Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND,
and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator


Praise for the audiobook

“Lincoln in the Bardo" sets a new standard for cast recordings in its structure, in its performances, and in its boldness. Now, let''s see who answers the challenge.” – Chicago Tribune
 
“Like the novel, the audiobook breaks new ground in what can be accomplished through a story. It helps that there’s not a single bad note in the cast of a whopping 166 people. It’s also the rare phenomenon of an audiobook being a completely different experience compared to the novel. Even if you’ve read the novel, the audiobook is worth a listen (and vice versa). The whole project pushes the narrative form forward.” – A.V. Club
 
“The result is an auditory experience unlike any other, where the awareness of individual voices disappears while the carefully calibrated soundscape summons a metaphysical masterpiece. This is a tour de force of audiobook production, and a dazzling realization of Saunders’ unique authorial structure.”—Booklist 
 
“The finished audiobook’s tapestry of voices perfectly mirrors the novel.”— Entertainment Weekly


Praise for George Saunders
 
“No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.” —Khaled Hosseini

“Few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does.” —Junot Díaz
 
“George Saunders is a complete original. There is no one better, no one more essential to our national sense of self and sanity.” —Dave Eggers
 
“Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.” —Zadie Smith
 
“There is no one like him. He is an original—but everyone knows that.” —Lorrie Moore

“George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We’re lucky to have him.” —Jonathan Franzen
 
“An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.” —Thomas Pynchon

Review

“A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.” —Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review

“Grief guts us all, but rarely has it been elucidated with such nuance and brilliance as in Saunders’s Civil War phantasmagoria. Heartrending yet somehow hilarious, Saunders’s zinger of an allegory holds a mirror to our perilous current moment.” O: The Oprah Magazine

“An extended national ghost story . . . As anyone who knows Saunders’s work would expect, his first novel is a strikingly original production.” The Washington Post

“Saunders’s beautifully realized portrait of Lincoln . . . attests to the author’s own fruitful transition from the short story to the long-distance form of the novel.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Profound, funny and vital . . . the work of a great writer.” Chicago Tribune

“Heartbreaking and hilarious . . . For all its divine comedy, Lincoln in the Bardo is also deep and moving.” USA Today

“Along with the wonderfully bizarre, empathy abounds in Lincoln in the Bardo.” —Time

“There are moments that are almost transcendentally beautiful, that will come back to you on the edge of sleep. And it is told in beautifully realized voices, rolling out with precision or with stream-of-consciousness drawl.” —NPR

Lincoln in the Bardo is part historical novel, part carnivalesque phantasmagoria. It may well be the most strange and brilliant book you’ll read this year.” Financial Times

“A masterpiece.” Zadie Smith

“Ingenious . . . Saunders—well on his way toward becoming a twenty-first-century Twain—crafts an American patchwork of love and loss, giving shape to our foundational sorrows.” Vogue

“Saunders is the most humane American writer working today.” —Harper’s Magazine

“The novel beats with a present-day urgency—a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on.” Vanity Fair

“A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love . . . Saunders has written an unsentimental novel of Shakespearean proportions, gorgeously stuffed with tragic characters, bawdy humor, terrifying visions, throat-catching tenderness, and a galloping narrative, all twined around the luminous cord connecting a father and son and backlit by a nation engulfed in fire.” —Elle

“Wildly imaginative.” —Marie Claire

“Mesmerizing . . . Dantesque . . . A haunting American ballad.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Exhilarating . . . Ruthless and relentless in its evocation not only of Lincoln and his quandary, but also of the tenuous existential state shared by all of us.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read, except that the grotesque humor, pathos, and, ultimately, human kindness at its core mark it as a work that could come only from Saunders.” —The National

About the Author

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

 
XXI.
 
Mouth at the worm’s ear, Father said:

We have loved each other well, dear Willie, but now, for reasons we cannot understand, that bond has been broken. But our bond can never be broken. As long as I live, you will always be with me, child.

Then let out a sob

Dear Father crying    That was hard to see    And no matter how I patted & kissed & made to console, it did no

You were a joy, he said. Please know that. Know that you were a joy. To us. Every minute, every season, you were a—you did a good job. A good job of being a pleasure to know.

Saying all this to the worm!    How I wished him to say it to me    And to feel his eyes on me    So I thought, all right, by Jim, I will get him to see me And in I went It was no bother at all    Say, it felt all right   Like I somewhat belonged in

In there, held so tight, I was now partly also in Father

And could know exactly what he was

Could feel the way his long legs lay     How it is to have a beard      Taste coffee in the mouth and, though not thinking in words exactly, knew that the feel of him in my arms has done me good. It has. Is this wrong? Unholy? No, no, he is mine, he is ours, and therefore I must be, in that sense, a god in this; where he is concerned I may decide what is best. And I believe this has done me good. I remember him. Again. Who he was. I had forgotten some- what already. But here: his exact proportions, his suit smelling of him still, his forelock between my fingers, the heft of him familiar from when he would fall asleep in the parlor and I would carry him up to—

It has done me good.


I believe it has.


It is secret. A bit of secret weakness, that shores me up; in shoring me up, it makes it more likely that I shall do my duty in other matters; it hastens the end of this period of weakness; it harms no one; therefore, it is not wrong, and I shall take away from here this resolve: I may return as often as I like, telling no one, accepting whatever help it may bring me, until it helps me no more.


Then Father touched his head to mine.

Dear boy, he said, I will come again. That is a promise.

willie lincoln

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3.9 out of 53.9 out of 5
4,327 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

M.M.B.
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not for me
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2018
I was expecting a lot from this book and I''m sorry to say I was disappointed. It''s clear to me that I can''t fully appreciate Mr. Saunders alternative writing and since the onset I had a complicated relationship with this book (there were sections where I felt... See more
I was expecting a lot from this book and I''m sorry to say I was disappointed.
It''s clear to me that I can''t fully appreciate Mr. Saunders alternative writing and since the onset I had a complicated relationship with this book (there were sections where I felt completely lost)
I tried my hardest to like it, I really did.
I know a few people who has swooned over this book. Not me. There is a very good chance that my aversion betrays a complete lack of understanding on my part.
But in all honesty, I can''t recommend it to anyone.
228 people found this helpful
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Constant ReaderTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Award Winning Strange Story, Strangely Told
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2018
You can tell that this is an unusual novel by the distribution of reviews across Amazon’s stars. The reviews by professional literary critics are universally positive, but the response from those of us who are amateurs is much more varied. The story is rooted in historic... See more
You can tell that this is an unusual novel by the distribution of reviews across Amazon’s stars. The reviews by professional literary critics are universally positive, but the response from those of us who are amateurs is much more varied. The story is rooted in historic fact: President Lincoln’s beloved son Willie died in the White House from typhoid, and the grieving president made several visits to his son’s crypt. This is a strange story, strangely told. I am familiar with the word bardo from Eliot Pattison’s mysteries which are steeped in Buddhism and set in Tibet. Other people are more qualified to discuss whether this fictional setting is more consistent theologically with a Buddhist bardo, with limbo, with purgatory, or with none of them. Whatever the theology is, this bardo is not heavenly. This bardo is heavily populated with spirits or ghosts of people buried in the cemetery who have not moved on to whatever their next state of being is to be. The structure of this novel is unusual. It is told almost entirely in dialogue. The dialogue sometimes is from first person “historic” accounts of true events related to Lincoln or his son’s death, complete with citations that give the appearance of contemporaneous sources. ( “Historic” is in quotes because apparently some of those accounts are authentic and some are fictional.) Some of the dialogue is in the thoughts of living characters such as Lincoln and the cemetery caretaker. But the majority of the story is told in dialogue between the spirits. Some readers find it tedious and some find it brilliant. I appreciate the creativity and had no difficulty following the story. Despite the fact that it was so effective as storytelling, it was disconcerting to shift point of view so frequently. The result of the frequent jumps was that I felt less connected to the story. This is a sad story of loss, of love, of regret, of grief and of pain. There are some very disturbing aspects, some heartwarming moments, and some humor. Among the disturbing aspects are the plight of children in the spirit world, the suffering of the spirits from mistreatment as slaves, and the survival of hatred and racism past death. The portrayal of Lincoln is poignant and sympathetic. He is shown as President, father, and husband. The main spirit characters tell their stories of life and of their afterlives. They work together to reach the president and save Willie’s spirit. Love it or hate it, this is a book worth reading for its story and for the technical aspects of how the story is told. This was a book group book and it was a good selection for us. It lead to a very interesting and broad reaching discussion. It is a book that I could appreciate, but not a book that I could love.
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PF
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
... some sort of rewarding insight only to be grossly disappointed. I strongly recommend you "Look Inside
Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2018
I forced myself to slog through this pretentious drivel posing as a novel in the hopes that by the end there would be some sort of rewarding insight only to be grossly disappointed. I strongly recommend you "Look Inside!" and try to read a few pages of this. If you... See more
I forced myself to slog through this pretentious drivel posing as a novel in the hopes that by the end there would be some sort of rewarding insight only to be grossly disappointed. I strongly recommend you "Look Inside!" and try to read a few pages of this. If you enjoy page after page of disconnected dialogue from undefined characters then have at it. Otherwise save your time and money and avoid at all costs.
100 people found this helpful
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Mary Lins
5.0 out of 5 starsVine Customer Review of Free Product
Move Over Dante!
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2016
Before you crack open George Saunders'' new (first) novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo", you must empty your mind of what you expect an historical novel to be. Both the structure and the narrative are incredibly non-traditional, somewhat experimental, often disorienting,... See more
Before you crack open George Saunders'' new (first) novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo", you must empty your mind of what you expect an historical novel to be. Both the structure and the narrative are incredibly non-traditional, somewhat experimental, often disorienting, but ultimately fulfilling. Let me assure you that if you open your mind, you''ll not only get used to it, you will enjoy it thoroughly.

That said, I think "Lincoln in the Bardo" would work even better as a stage play, somewhat reminiscent of "Our Town", and in this sense I think an audio recording of the novel, if done well, might be the best way to experience this work.

Bardo is a Tibetan word for the "in-between" or "transitional" state between lives (thank you, Wikipedia). The novel takes place in one night in a cemetery and the story is narrated by hundreds of voices: old and young, men, women, and children, white and black, salve and free. These denizens of Saunders'' novel are in a place between life and death. We are told that people stay in this gray area for varying periods of time and that children usually stay there a very short time (this is where it also sounded a lot like Purgatory to me). Do these "beings" know that they are actually dead? They use words like "sick box" for coffin, and "sick-form" for body, "white stone home" for mausoleum, so they seem to be unclear as to their actual state. Through these voices Saunders creates as fascinating (and chilling) a version of the after-life as Dante Alighieri gave us. (There is a particularly interesting and notable discussion among them about free will in the latter part of the novel.)

The basic plot is fictionalized history: Willie, Abraham Lincoln''s young son, has died and he is now in the Bardo. Here we meet the many fascinating - and funny! characters who show Willie around, who witness the unusual sight of Lincoln cradling the body of his young son, and who endeavor to help both father and son to find peace. That''s as far as I will go with the "plot" of this novel.

One of my favorite things about this unique novel, was how Saunders presented conflicting "news reports". For example, when reporting on the White House gala reception the night Willie is dying, some "witnesses" said there was a full moon, some said there was no moon, some said it was green, some red, others said it was just a sliver. This serves to remind us that recorded history is just as unreliable as our current news reporting. What is the truth? Do we ever know? For the purpose of "Lincoln in the Bardo", we only need to know that the Lincolns did lose their beloved son Willie in early 1862, all else is brilliantly imagined and "reported" by Saunders.

Ultimately "Lincoln in the Bardo" is a riveting exploration of death, grief, and love told in an utterly unique, almost poetic, fashion.
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J. P. Polley
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disjointed and historically inaccurate
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2018
The style was off-putting, particularly the inclusion of so many characters who did nothing to illuminate the point of the novel, which is parental grief. I suppose that the many graphic depictions of sexual activity were meant to boast sales, and they might have, along... See more
The style was off-putting, particularly the inclusion of so many characters who did nothing to illuminate the point of the novel, which is parental grief. I suppose that the many graphic depictions of sexual activity were meant to boast sales, and they might have, along with a narrative style that the unlettered reader might find adventurous but which is over a century and a quarter old. The brief description of the Union victory at Fort Donelson on Page 153, and the number of casualties incurred, is incorrect. The mention of a "Colonel Ellis" by the recently deceased Willis Lincoln is also wrong, as he is clearly referring to Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, a personal friend of Lincoln''s and the Lincoln family, who was killed by a secessionist sympathizer in Alexandria as Ellsworth attempted to remove a Confederate flag from a hotel. (p. 116)
There may have been enough of an idea in the death of Willie and Abraham Lincoln''s grief for a meaningful short story, but not enough, in Saunders'' hands, for a full-length novel. I strongly recommend against buying, or reading, this offering.
41 people found this helpful
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Richard Alured
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read the short stories!
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2018
He''s my favorite living writer of short stories. Truly. Although I often felt his moralizing could be a little more... subtle. And, after the first collection, I was really starting to feel his focus on the undead had become a little... old. This novel is ALL... See more
He''s my favorite living writer of short stories. Truly. Although I often felt his moralizing could be a little more... subtle. And, after the first collection, I was really starting to feel his focus on the undead had become a little... old.

This novel is ALL crude moralizing and ALL the speaking characters are undead. It''s everything I wished Saunders would leave behind.

Go (re)read Tenth of December. It''s a masterpiece!
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the next good book
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The format of this book may throw you for a loop but it is truly an amazing book! It is just so different
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2017
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 343 pages What’s it about? So this book is truly different- beginning with what''s a bardo? The definition of bardo: (in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length... See more
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
343 pages

What’s it about?
So this book is truly different- beginning with what''s a bardo? The definition of bardo: (in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person''s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death. This whole novel takes place in the bardo right after Willie Lincoln dies. It is 1862 and the Civil War is not going well. When 11 year-old Willie dies of typhus Mr. Lincoln is deeply depressed, and yet he knows that he is inflicting this same grief on so many families by sending their sons into battle. Literally we see his solitary grief juxtaposed along side the collective grief of a nation. The novel poses so many interesting questions, all seen through a motley cast of characters inhabiting the bardo with Willie Lincoln.

What did it make me think about?
By the end of this novel I was asking myself all kinds of questions. What exactly does happen when we die? What about all our unresolved situations here on earth? Do we only fully experience humanity as we interact with each other? Are we all more important as a part of a whole than as individuals? How responsible are we for our actions? This novel gives us so much to think about….

Should I read it?
The format of this book may throw you for a loop but it is truly an amazing book! It is just so different. My advice is to just start reading and don’t stop. Patience will be required by some, and I am sure even with patience, some readers just won’t like this book. To be clear- at ten pages I was thinking, “what is this?” Don’t over think it and the beauty, wit, and wisdom will come.

Quote-
This is another book with so many quotes I don’t know where to begin…

“He is just one.
And the weight of it about to kill me.
Have exported this grief.
Some three thousand times. So far. To date. A mountain. Of boys. Someone’s boys. Must keep on with it. Many not have the heart for it. One thing to pull the lever when blind to the result. But here lies one dear example of what I accomplish by the orders I-
May not have the heart for it.”

“His mind was freshly inclined toward sorrow; toward the fact that the world was full of sorrow; that everyone labored under some burden of sorrow; that all were suffering; that whatever way one took in this world one must try to remember that all were suffering (none content; all wronged, neglected, overlooked, misunderstood), and therefore one must do what one could to lighten the load of those with whom one came into contact; that his current state of sorrow was not uniquely his, not at all, but, rather, its like had been felt, would yet be felt, by scores of others, in all times, in every time, and must not be prolonged or exaggerated, because, in this state, he could be of no help to anyone and , given his position in the world situated him to be either of great help or great harm, it would not do to stay low, if he could help it.”

If you like this try-
​Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
86 people found this helpful
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goldmana
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not worth the time
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2018
There''s a lot of hype about this book, along with a general sense that if you don''t like it, somehow you''re not "getting it." Well, I didn''t like it and I''m pretty sure I got it. Frankly, it''s boring, crude, macabre, and overblown. It''s not hard to adjust to the... See more
There''s a lot of hype about this book, along with a general sense that if you don''t like it, somehow you''re not "getting it." Well, I didn''t like it and I''m pretty sure I got it. Frankly, it''s boring, crude, macabre, and overblown. It''s not hard to adjust to the unusual format. It''s just not worth it.
34 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

P. G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Danse Macabre
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2018
I often wish that books classified as literary fiction (whatever that is) would find something new to say, rather than just peddling another version of middle class miserablism. Well, Lincoln in the Bardo must be literary fiction, mustn''t it? It did win the Booker after...See more
I often wish that books classified as literary fiction (whatever that is) would find something new to say, rather than just peddling another version of middle class miserablism. Well, Lincoln in the Bardo must be literary fiction, mustn''t it? It did win the Booker after all. It certainly delivers something new and original. It''s also a piece of genre fiction, I''m just not sure which genre. Horror? Ghost story? Zombie book? Historical? Fantasy? Magical Realism? To address one other point made about this book in reviews, it is not a difficult or challenging read. It takes a little bit of time at the start to tune in to it, but once you understand how the author is telling his tale, it is a very easy and enjoyable read. This is the story of the death of Abraham Lincoln''s young son Willie. It is told by two different sets of voices. Firstly, the actually events around Willie''s death are told in a series of snippets from contemporary observers. In telling his story in this way, author George Saunders comments on the unreliability of history, and on the changing perceptions of great historical figures. The Lincoln of this book is at the start if the Civil War and deeply unpopular in some quarters. To some observers his relationship with his son is deeply moving, to others he is a cold and callous father. The second set of voices is what sets this book apart. They are spirits, ghosts, the undead, remaining on earth in some form of limbo (in some schools of Buddhism, Bardo is a transitional state between death and rebirth) invisible to the living. Chief among these spirits are a churchman, a printer who died before he could consummate his marriage to his younger wife, and a gay man who committed suicide. The spirits, seemingly unaware that they are dead, referring to their coffins as sick boxes, seek to protect Willie from a form of death, referred to by the citizens of the realm as "matterlightblooming" and from the more malicious inhabitants of their netherworld. They also hope to re-establish a connection between Willie and his father in the hope that he can return to the normal world as a precursor to their also doing so. In portraying Lincoln''s grief at the death of his son, the book is deeply moving, but given that it''s primary subject is death, it is surprisingly light, and often genuinely humorous. Alongside Lincoln''s grief, Saunders depicts the doubts which wrack him as a leader taking his country into war. He is forced to understand his own grief at a time when his decisions will inevitably lead to other deaths and other parents being similarly bereaved. The other great theme is, unsurprisingly for the period, that of slavery and relationships between European and African Americans. Oppression and conflict continue into the twilight world, although the ultimate suggestion of where Lincoln obtained his final resolve to fight the war to its end is astonishing. Extraordinary.
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Lynn
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Almost impossible to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2018
This is one of the worst books I''ve read in a long time. Saunders idea of setting up as a series of quotes is too clever and makes it almost impossible to read. The whole thing was just a challenge and not an enjoyable one. And Kindle.....the excerpt you chose as a ''taster''...See more
This is one of the worst books I''ve read in a long time. Saunders idea of setting up as a series of quotes is too clever and makes it almost impossible to read. The whole thing was just a challenge and not an enjoyable one. And Kindle.....the excerpt you chose as a ''taster'' bore no resemblance to the format used for the rest of the book, and was misleading.
31 people found this helpful
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Mrs C L Sharpe
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great choice for our bookclub
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2018
The story centres around one night in the cemetery in which Abraham Lincoln''s son Willie lies in a crypt having died of Typhoid fever at the age of 11 and focuses on the President''s grief at his loss, and is told by a series of voices. Also in the graveyard are many other...See more
The story centres around one night in the cemetery in which Abraham Lincoln''s son Willie lies in a crypt having died of Typhoid fever at the age of 11 and focuses on the President''s grief at his loss, and is told by a series of voices. Also in the graveyard are many other spirits who live in the Bardo which is considered in some schools of Buddhism to be an intermediate state between death and rebirth. The 3 main voices are the spirits are a reverend, a printer who died before he could consummate his marriage to his younger wife, and a gay man who committed suicide, and the book is written almost like a script. As well as the narrative from the voices, the book is interspersed with historical writings of the time, describing the events as they unfolded (I''m not clear if these are true quotations as there is no bibliography but I assume they are!) Other themes include racism (even after death the coloured people don''t interact with the white people) and slavery I really enjoyed the book - it took a few pages to get used to the format but I found it a quick read and as with many other historical based novels I have read, it has made me want to read more about Lincoln At times I found some of the interaction between the 3 main voices quite amusing and this innovative style of writing will stay with me I think.
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jabt
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Unreadable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2018
I found this book completly unreadable. I persevered for about 120 pages but it was just words in front of my eyes so I gave up. This was our book club choice so I felt bad about it but life is just too short.
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R. A. Cookson
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Joyless, unmoving and uninteresting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2019
I avoided reading this for a long time, as I disliked Pastoralia so much. Eventually, I thought it was worth a try, given the endless stream of rave reviews. The first few pages are very nicely written. Then the ''structural innovation'' starts. It is all downhill from there....See more
I avoided reading this for a long time, as I disliked Pastoralia so much. Eventually, I thought it was worth a try, given the endless stream of rave reviews. The first few pages are very nicely written. Then the ''structural innovation'' starts. It is all downhill from there. Some of the voices are engaging, but I couldn''t escape the feeling as the book went on that George Saunders simply wanted to show how many balls he could keep in the air at one time. It''s like watching someone do one finger press-ups. In the end, I stopped reading after 130 pages, as I couldn''t see any reason to continue with the rest of the book.
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