Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella

Civil War Land in Bad Decline Stories and a Novella Six short stories and a novella Set in a dystopian near future in which America has become little than a theme park in terminal disrepair they constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary

  • Title: Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella
  • Author: George Saunders
  • ISBN: 9780679448129
  • Page: 197
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Six short stories and a novella Set in a dystopian near future in which America has become little than a theme park in terminal disrepair, they constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary on the current state of the American Dream.Funny, sad, bleak, weird, toxic the future of America as the Free Market runs rampant,the environment skids into disarray, aSix short stories and a novella Set in a dystopian near future in which America has become little than a theme park in terminal disrepair, they constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary on the current state of the American Dream.Funny, sad, bleak, weird, toxic the future of America as the Free Market runs rampant,the environment skids into disarray, and civilization dissolves into surreal chaos These wacky, brilliant, hilarious and entirely original stories cue us in on George Saunder s skewed vision of the legacy we are creating Against the backdrop of our devolvement, our own worst tendencies and greatest virtues are weirdly illuminated.

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      Published :2020-011-02T05:25:50+00:00

    About “George Saunders”

    1. George Saunders

      George Saunders was born December 2, 1958 and raised on the south side of Chicago In 1981 he received a B.S in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado He worked at Radian International, an environmental engineering firm in Rochester, NY as a technical writer and geophysical engineer from 1989 to 1996 He has also worked in Sumatra on an oil exploration geophysics crew, as a doorman in Beverly Hills, a roofer in Chicago, a convenience store clerk, a guitarist in a Texas country and western band, and a knuckle puller in a West Texas slaughterhouse After reading in People magazine about the Master s program at Syracuse University, he applied Mr Saunders received an MA with an emphasis in creative writing in 1988 His thesis advisor was Doug Unger.He has been an Assistant Professor, Syracuse University Creative Writing Program since 1997 He has also been a Visiting Writer at Vermont Studio Center, University of Georgia MayMester Program, University of Denver, University of Texas at Austin, St Petersburg Literary Seminar St Petersburg, Russia, Summer 2000 , Brown University, Dickinson College, Hobart William Smith Colleges He conducted a Guest Workshop at the Eastman School of Music, Fall 1995, and was an Adjunct Professor at Saint John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, 1990 1995 and Adjunct Professor at Siena College, Loudonville, New York in Fall 1989.He is married and has two children.His favorite charity is a project to educate Tibetan refugee children in Nepal Information on this can be found at tibetan buddhist index

    889 thoughts on “Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella”

    1. ‘What a degraded cosmos.’We live in a world where cruelty towards others is becoming more and more accepted – how easy we rationalize our self-righteous anger against someone who cut us off, brought us an undercooked meal, said something stupid, etc and even seen as funny. Saunders, like the ghost of Christmas future, would like to show us where that is leading us. Civilwarland In Bad Decline, his first collection of stories, paints a grim portrait of a near-future filled with everything f [...]

    2. Have you ever heard a politically incorrect joke and laughed, and then felt guilty, but then laughed again?Have you ever driven by a car wreck and slowed down to see the emergency response vehicles, and the vehicle made to look like a damaged accordion?Have you ever watched a reality TV show and saw folks fighting each other and tearing clothes and being separated by bouncers and realized you were hypnotized by the gross lowest common denominator humanity?Have you read Civilwarland in Bad Declin [...]

    3. Man, this little guyI can't fault it a single sentence. Every story in this tiny collection made me want to high-five the author with one hand and cradle my hanging head in the other. Maybe I was a bit hard on his later Pastoralia because I needed to warm up to Saunders, maybe my head was just in the right space this time around, or perhaps this really is the superior group of stories. Whatever magical trippydippy cosmos aligning parade of "f*ck yeah" was going on, I dug the expletive deleted ou [...]

    4. Using lavish grotesque and generously mocking political correctness and hypocrisy George Saunders thrashes everyday life to pitiful trash, reducing the States to the ridiculous dystopia of dark ages.That night I sleep a troubled sleep beside a fetid stream. I dream of Limbo, a tiny room full of dull people eternally discussing their dental work while sipping lukewarm tea. I wake at first light and hike through miles of failing forest and around noon arrive in a village of paranoiacs standing wit [...]

    5. Welcome to the OccupationThe whole way through George Saunders' first collection of short stories, there are suggestions that the world is not as it should be.Imagine a world like this, totally unlike our own:The characters and narrators are (or are surrounded by) kooks and wackos. People have names like Shirleen and Melvin. Where there were once cornfields and flood plains, there are now parking stations and theme parks. Gangs invade civil war re-enactments. All dreams are defiled. All entertai [...]

    6. I already knew & liked the title track so I skipped to the big novella "Bounty" and thought hello hello this is like a Motown follow-up where say "Reach Out I’ll be There" was followed up by "Standing in the Shadows of Love" which is like the same song tweaked a bit (but still great) or "I Can’t Help Myself" followed up by "It’s the Same Old Song" which really is, how daringly blatant they were. I thought this was a short story collection but it’s more like a rock opera, where the st [...]

    7. Me at 18: I read Vonnegut; I read Tom Robbins; I read Mark Leyner; I read Douglas Adams. I had just left the nest in a small Oklahoma town. I knew hardship. I knew the void of culture that threatens to suck you in like a black hole. I knew the vapid anguish that takes center stage in Saunders' stories. Humor was therapy then, the absurd a close friend. We scoffed at the religious majority and their follies, poked fun at the consumerist drone of daily existence. Then came anger and resentment. Bu [...]

    8. These are the funniest future hellscapes I've ever read. I likely scared the neighbors with my crazed laughter about the brothel in the former Safeway and the pickled fetus exhibition. And the ghost swearing in Latin. And the slaveowner saying he is a kind and civilized man. But I digress.These stories, when taken together, revolve around the same hyperkinetic image of a future America, dreaming of eternal happiness while sloughing in mud, rich, violent and yet so fawningly humble, religious and [...]

    9. The past couple of months, two activities have dominated my leisure time: reading and watching NBA hoops. After reading CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, I was reminded of a hoops argument that I think should carry over to modern literature as well. The argument has to deal with the unceasing quest for the so-called next Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan was the transcendent athlete, if not public figure, of my childhood. There are a generation of kids who still drink Gatorade, buy Nikes, and wear Hanes [...]

    10. Poor George Saunders must have had a real real bad theme park experience in his youth. This collection of stories makes the dystopia of Zombieland seem sedate. I love Saunders' take on American consumption and the way he is able to shove values and virtues of 20th century America into a funky future that makes all our virtues absurd and makes this anti-utopia seem closer than you might have previously imagined.

    11. saunders kelimenin tam anlamıyla insanın tüylerini ürperten öyküler yazmış. tüyler ürperiyor çünkü yazılanlar hem bize uzak gibi gözüküyor, distopya gibi, hem de aslında ne kadar gerçek olduğunu içten içe biliyoruzlatılan savaşlar, yok olan doğa, hayvanlar, insanları köle gibi çalıştıran vahşinin de vahşisi bir kapitalizm, bugün eğlenerek gidilen temaparklarla yaratılan fazlasıyla tedirgin edici dünyalar. fakirin, çirkinin, farklının, ezilmişin kıçına [...]

    12. I can’t help but feel like a jackass for coming to the game so late. It has been over ten years since Civilwarland in Bad Decline was first published and introduced George Saunders to the literary world. As a guy who is constantly pounding the table about the value of short stories, I look a bit o’ the fool for having not read and known the value of Saunders’ debut collection. What a way to kick in the doors and make an entrance into the literary world.Saunders is amazingly comfortable in [...]

    13. This collection of 6 short stories and a novella was written in 1996, and it holds up brilliantly today. George Saunders is a master storyteller, and his writing is sublime. I love the entire collection.All the stories take place in some kind of dystopian, and very believable, future. In the title story, CivilWarLand is a theme park run amok. In Offloading Mrs. Schwarts, people begin offloading their memories to serve as educational modules for the young. The 400-Pound CEO is Jeffrey, founder of [...]

    14. Video-review: youtube/watch?v=8aiH7Featured in my Top 5 George Saunders Books: youtube/watch?v=2Bc7gGeorge Saunders' debut collection goes a bit over the top with its emotional charge at times, but remains an immensely rewarding, if upsetting, experience. Its stories are balanced and rewarding (although kinda same-y occasionally), the 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.

    15. 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. Saunders' characters are invariably weird, eccentric, even occasionally horrifying, yet they end up feeling more human than the majority of fictional characters. It's also satisfying to find I can now detect Saunders' influence in the work of so many other writers I admire - to name a few: Lindsay Hun [...]

    16. George Saunders is one of those wonderful discoveries I had last year. His Folio Prize winning Tenth of December blew me away and I knew I had to read more, if not all, of his works. I wanted to go down the line of his fiction books, with Civilwarland in Bad Decline being the earliest, published 17 years earlier than Tenth of December. The short stories from the former may not be as polished and potent as those of the later, but it still has everything I loved about Saunders' writing. It is ungu [...]

    17. Türkçede yayımlanmış bütün Saunders kitaplarını okumuş biri olarak yapacağım bu yorumu.Eğer yazarı tanıyorsanız kitap tam bir "tipik Saunders kitabı". Erken dönem öyküleri olmasına rağmen kara mizahı, hicvi ve en umulmadık andaki acımasızlığıyla birlikte yoğrulan kalemi çok tanıdık. Ancak kitaptaki öykülerin teması Pastoralya'ya oldukça benziyordu. Bu da kitabın benim gözümdeki yegane eksisi oldu.Yine sıra dışı bir kafanın ürünü olan öyküler bir [...]

    18. A collection of short stories and one novella, this was Saunders’ debut and I have decidedly mixed feelings about it. It has glowing reviews and the cover blurbs all proclaim that George Saunders is a brilliant satirist and this book marks “the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction” (I really need to start ignoring cover blurbs when making book-buying decisions). Comparisons are made to Kurt Vonnegut and Nathaniel West throughout the review excerpts, but I really didn’t feel the book [...]

    19. This is a hard one to rate. I found three of the stories--"CivilWarLand in Bad Decline," "Isabelle," and "The 400-Pound CEO"--absolutely revelatory: trust me, you have never read anything like these stories before. At the risk of adjective overload, they are clever, unsettling, unexpected, and deeply moving--easily five star material. They are dark and apocalyptic but hysterical and heartwarming: the world's gone terribly, terribly wrong, but the narrators are sympathetic, likable guys with fami [...]

    20. A tough book to rate. More like 3.5.Blown away by Saunders's most recent book of stories, Tenth Of December, I was curious about his debut book of stories and a novella, published in 1996. There are similar themes: dystopias, social injustice, exploitation. And that unique narrative voice – satiric, colloquial, with a finely tuned ear to the banal cadences of the tech world and corporate-speak – is certainly there.But perhaps because I liked the later book so much, these feel embryonic, brim [...]

    21. İçSavaşDiyarı Feci Düşüşte, George Saunders’ın ilk öykülerinin yer aldığı, yayımlanan ilk kitabı. Fakat bu ilklik herhangi bir çağdışılık taşımıyor. Kitap dünyaya 1996 yılından bakıyor ama yarattığı kestirim ilk günkü kadar taze; çünkü öyküler güçlü, zekice yazılmış ve en önemlisi, tamamı büyük bir öngörü sahibi.Örneğin kitaptaki son öyküyü, yani "Bereket" isimli novellayı ele alırsak bu öngörüyü daha rahat anlayabiliriz: "Normal" [...]

    22. 8/12/13 Further Thoughts:If there's a good analog to Saunders I think it's Vonnegut. More than anything because of the imaginitive quality of their respective works than anything else. But also the strangeness that they force the readers to just accept as parameters of their world. I've detected a furtive sense of comparison, particularly on this site, to DFW (everyone of my reviews seems to come back to him. Crutch or brainwash on my part? Or was he as boldly important as the DFW cult says he i [...]

    23. This is some of the saddest and most affecting fiction I've read in a little while. Saunders taps into something dark and introspective in this book by using bizarre settings and fantastical elements. He's obviously at the top tier of science fiction writers working today. Though I see from the reviews "Offloading Mrs. Schwartz" is regarded as the deepest emotionally in this book (it's really good), I actually found myself returning to thinking about "The 400-pound CEO" and "Downtrodden Mary's F [...]

    24. An excellent compilation of short stories with biting criticisms of today's views and technologies shown through their ultimate excesses born out in the future. The titular short story is particularly hilarious and provides a great deal of commentary on the American worker and how culture develops. 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. Though some would argue that all of Saunder's wo [...]

    25. This month's post-apocalyptic book club selectionA slim collection of seven short stories well, six short stories and one longish story. Individually, every one of these stories was very good. However, in the end, I wound up deducting a star because, well, they're all kind of the same story.Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that's kind of the point but it got a bit repetitive.Civilwarland in Bad Decline - A hapless worker is stuck in his job at a decrepit, near-bankrupt historical theme park recreat [...]

    26. Science fiction does not normally tickle my fancy, but this time is relevant as just a few decades into the American future and I enjoyed the humorously dark short stories of theme parks and working-class pathos, but I truly loved the novella: My experience with short stories capped with a novella is a good one, where this first time author (in 1996) seems to be warming up and readying for a novel. The novella "Bounty" is my favorite, a kind of Pilgrim's Progress where the mutated minority (the [...]

    27. This is the first Saunders I've read, and I have to say there are a lot of surface-level similarities with some Wallace stuff. The most obvious is that Saunders wants to communicate a really bleak message about late-stage capitalism, but he feels the need to make his prose consistently and manically funny so that people will bother to read it. I like a funny book as much as the next guy, but I do occasionally feel a little insulted by an author who seems to think I'll stop reading if the jokes d [...]

    28. This is a very hard book to describe. I found it really compelling and hard to put down, but Saunders' view of the world is so desolate and harrowing that I came away emotionally sandblasted. I think that was part of the intended effect, and I don't mean it as a criticism.The protagonists in Saunders' stories are mostly helpless and adrift in a world that's been trashed and pillaged by twenty-first century capitalism and then recreated by canny, cynical entrepreneurs as a heritage experience. Ci [...]

    29. With George Saunders receiving so much positive press these days, I decided to try CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. Now having read the short story collection, I can understand the acclaim. The stories are imaginative, distinctive, unusual, full of bizarre characters inhabiting bizarre worlds. Those characters are more weird circus freaks than everyday neighbors, and those worlds are theme parks you've never visited before. Throughout it all, the tone is an odd mix of resignation, hostility, and off [...]

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