Friday, February 1, 2013

Ben Is A Fan

"George Saunders has done something special with his collection of stories, The Tenth of December. Saunders has maintained a unique style and an intensely close eye on the inner-workings of each of his characters in these widely varied stories - varied not just in subject matter, but in emotional depth, satire, and all those other things we look for: unique flaws, interactions with other unique characters, situations, etc. etc.  This was not my first interaction with Saunders. Another collection Pastoralia introduced me to Saunders' unique style: his comedy, his depth, his inventive style, and in Tenth of December Saunders maintains and has sharpened his voice. Many of his characters seem to possess the rambling, worried inner-monologues that so many of us non-Saunders-character-people live with. My favorite pieces include the flash piece "Sticks" and the title story "Tenth of December" which closes the collection on such a powerful emotional note (it is a story about an older man with cancer saving the life of a young boy, after all). I had to re-read the last two pages several times, not just for the emotional weight but for the overwhelming beauty in Saunders' prose. A fantastic writer and a fantastic collection!"


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