Tenth Of December: Stories

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Tenth Of December: Stories

by George Saunders

Random House Publishing Group | January 7, 2014 | Trade Paperback

3.5 out of 5 rating. 2 Reviews
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • New York • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

Includes an extended conversation with David Sedaris


One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
 
In the taut opener, "Victory Lap," a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home," a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill-the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders's signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
 
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
 
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December-through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit-not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov's dictum that art should "prepare us for tenderness."

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER

"The best book you'll read this year."-The New York Times Magazine
 
"A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time."-Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
 
"The best short-story writer in English-not 'one of,' not 'arguably,' but the Best."-Mary Karr, Time
 
"A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
"Saunders's startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world."-People
 
GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812984250

ISBN - 13: 9780812984255

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Tenth Of December: Stories

Tenth Of December: Stories

by George Saunders

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812984250

ISBN - 13: 9780812984255

Read from the Book

TENTH of DECEMBER The pale boy with unfortunate Prince Valiant bangs and cublike mannerisms hulked to the mudroom closet and req- uisitioned Dad’s white coat. Then requisitioned the boots he’d spray-painted white. Painting the pellet gun white had been a no. That was a gift from Aunt Chloe. Every time she came over he had to haul it out so she could make a big stink about the wood grain. Today’s assignation: walk to pond, ascertain beaver dam. Likely he would be detained. By that species that lived amongst the old rock wall. They were small but, upon emerging, assumed certain proportions. And gave chase. This was just their methodology. His aplomb threw them loops. He knew that. And reveled in it. He would turn, level the pellet gun, intone: Are you aware of the usage of this human implement? Blam! They were Netherworlders. Or Nethers. They had a strange bond with him. Sometimes for whole days he would just nurse their wounds. Occasionally, for a joke, he would shoot one in the butt as it fled. Who henceforth would limp for the rest of its days. Which could be as long as an additional nine million years. Safe inside the rock wall, the shot one would go, Guys, look at my butt. As a group, all would look at Gzeemon’s butt, exchanging sullen glances of: Gzeemon shall indeed be limping for the next nine million years, poor bloke. Because yes: Nethers tended to talk like that guy in Mary Poppins. Which naturally raised some mysteries as to their ultimate or
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From the Publisher

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • New York • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

Includes an extended conversation with David Sedaris


One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
 
In the taut opener, "Victory Lap," a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home," a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill-the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders's signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
 
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
 
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December-through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit-not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov's dictum that art should "prepare us for tenderness."

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER

"The best book you'll read this year."-The New York Times Magazine
 
"A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time."-Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
 
"The best short-story writer in English-not 'one of,' not 'arguably,' but the Best."-Mary Karr, Time
 
"A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
"Saunders's startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world."-People
 
GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE

About the Author

MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellow George Saunders is the acclaimed author of several collections of short stories, including Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, as well as a collection of essays and a book for children. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Tenth of December   “The best book you’ll read this year.” — The New York Times Magazine   “A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.” —Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner   “The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.” —Mary Karr, Time   “A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times   “Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.” — People   “It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.” — The Wall Street Journal   “An irresistible mix of humor and humanity . . . that will make you beam with unmitigated glee. [Grade:] A” — Entertainment Weekly   “Saunders captures the fragmented rhythms, disjointed sensory input, and wildly absurd realities of the twenty-first century experience like no other writer.” — The Boston Globe   &
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