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Lincoln in the Bardo Book Summary : #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 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 Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR • One of Time’s Ten Best Novels of the Year • A New York Times Notable Book 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? “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith
Lincoln in the Bardo Book Summary : "From the seed of historical truth that is the death of President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son Willie, George Saunders spins a story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm ... 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."--Amazon.com.
Lincoln in the Bardo Book Summary : WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017 A STORY OF LOVE AFTER DEATH 'A masterpiece' Zadie Smith 'Extraordinary' Daily Mail 'Breathtaking' Observer 'A tour de force' The Sunday Times The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm - called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo - and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul. Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders' inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Here he invents an exhilarating new form, and is confirmed as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices - living and dead, historical and fictional - Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end?
Study Guide for Book Clubs Book Summary : Whether you are a member of a book club, or simply reading 'Lincoln in the Bardo' for pleasure, this clear and concise guide, written by a specialist in literature, will greatly enhance your reading experience. A comprehensive guide to George Saunders' acclaimed novel 'Lincoln in the Bardo', this discussion aid includes a wealth of information and resources: useful literary and historical context; an author biography; a plot synopsis; analyses of themes & imagery; character analysis; twenty thought-provoking discussion questions; recommended further reading and even a quick quiz. For those in book clubs, this useful companion guide takes the hard work out of preparing for meetings and guarantees productive discussion. For solo readers, it encourages a deeper examination of a multi-layered text. *Please note that this is a companion guide only. It does not contain the text of the original novel.*
Tenth of December Book Summary : WINNER OF THE 2014 FOLIO PRIZE AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2013 George Saunders's most wryly hilarious and disturbing collection yet, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of DarkenfloxxTM in some unusual drug trials; and Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. With dark visions of the future riffing against ghosts of the past and the ever-settling present, this collection sings with astonishing charm and intensity.
Civilwarland In Bad Decline Book Summary : THE 2017 MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF LINCOLN IN THE BARDO In his first collection, George Saunders' vision of our near future is as black and funny as you can get. He takes us on a trip to the shopping malls and theme parks and enviromental hazards that lie just around the chronological corner, introducing us to a gang of misfits and losers struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world. Bizarre but familiar, fierce but always humane, these are stunningly original stories by a master of the form. 'Saunders is a morally passionate, serious writer, who perfectly expresses the madness of the times we live in. He will be read long after these times have passed' Zadie Smith 'He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him' Jonathan Franzen 'There is no-one better, no-one more essential' Dave Eggers
Sybil Book Summary : More amazing than any work of fiction, yet true in every word, it swept to the top of the bestseller lists and riveted the consciousness of the world. As an Emmy Award-winning film starring Sally Field, it captured the home screens of an entire nation and has endured as the most electrifying TV movie ever made. It's the story of a survivor of terrifying childhood abuse, victim of sudden and mystifying blackouts, and the first case of multiple personality ever to be psychoanalyzed. You're about to meet Sybil-and the sixteen selves to whom she played host, both women and men, each with a different personality, speech pattern, and even personal appearance. You'll experience the strangeness and fascination of one woman's rare affliction-and travel with her on her long, ultimately triumphant journey back to wholeness.
The Dirty Dust Book Summary : Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s irresistible and infamous novel The Dirty Dust is consistently ranked as the most important prose work in modern Irish, yet no translation for English-language readers has ever before been published. Alan Titley’s vigorous new translation, full of the brio and guts of Ó Cadhain’s original, at last brings the pleasures of this great satiric novel to the far wider audience it deserves. In The Dirty Dust all characters lie dead in their graves. This, however, does not impair their banter or their appetite for news of aboveground happenings from the recently arrived. Told entirely in dialogue, Ó Cadhain’s daring novel listens in on the gossip, rumors, backbiting, complaining, and obsessing of the local community. In the afterlife, it seems, the same old life goes on beneath the sod. Only nothing can be done about it—apart from talk. In this merciless yet comical portrayal of a closely bound community, Ó Cadhain remains keenly attuned to the absurdity of human behavior, the lilt of Irish gab, and the nasty, deceptive magic of human connection.
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil Book Summary : From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, large enough for only one resident at a time, citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power-hungry and tyrannical Phil, setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria. An Animal Farm for the 21st century, this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination, spiky humor, and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone. Over six years in the writing, and brilliantly and beautifully packaged, this novella is Saunders' first stand-alone, book-length work—and his first book for adults in five years.
Be Like the Fox Machiavelli In His World Book Summary : “Remarkable, engaging.… Be Like the Fox can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in the craft of politics and the life of ideas.”—New York Times Book Review In the five hundred years since he wrote The Prince, Machiavelli’s name has been linked to tyranny and the doctrine that “the ends justify the means.” But that is not what he stood for. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner takes us back to Renaissance Florence, where newly liberated citizens fought to build a free republic after the Medici princes were exiled. Machiavelli dedicated his life to this struggle for freedom. But despite his heroic efforts, the Medici soon swept back into power. Forced out of politics and prevented from speaking freely, Machiavelli had to use his skills of foxlike dissimulation to defend democracy in an era of tyrannical princes. Drawing on his letters, political writings, hard-hitting satirical dramas, and conversations with kings and popes, Be Like the Fox reveals Machiavelli as an unlikely hero for our times.
Pastoralia Book Summary : From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape. One of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Books of the Year "Artful and sophisicated... truly unusual. Imagine Lewis's Babbitt thrown into the backseat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, or Spike Jonze." -- The New York Times "Saunders is a provocateur, a moralist, a zealot, a lefty, and a funny, funny writer, and the stories in Pastoralia delight. We're very luck to have them." -- Esquire
Fox 8 Book Summary : From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a darkly comic short story about the unintended consequences unleashed by our quest to tame the natural world—featuring gorgeous black-and-white illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal. Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regard with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is, until he develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak “Yuman” by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children’s bedtime stories. The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people—even after “danjer” arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply, sending Fox 8 on a harrowing quest to help save his pack. Told with his distinctive blend of humor and pathos, Fox 8 showcases the extraordinary imaginative talents of George Saunders, whom The New York Times called “the writer for our time.”
The House on the Strand Book Summary : In this haunting tale, Daphne du Maurier takes a fresh approach to time travel. A secret experimental concoction, once imbibed, allows you to return to the fourteenth century. There is only one catch: if you happen to touch anyone while traveling in the past you will be thrust instantaneously to the present. Magnus Lane, a University of London chemical researcher, asks his friend Richard Young and Young's family to stay at Kilmarth, an ancient house set in the wilds near the Cornish coast. Here, Richard drinks a potion created by Magnus and finds himself at the same spot where he was moments earlier--though it is now the fourteenth century. The effects of the drink wear off after several hours, but it is wildly addictive, and Richard cannot resist traveling back and forth in time. Gradually growing more involved in the lives of the early Cornish manor lords and their ladies, he finds the presence of his wife and stepsons a hindrance to his new-found experience. Richard eventually finds emotional refuge with a beautiful woman of the past trapped in a loveless marriage, but when he attempts to intervene on her behalf the results are brutally terrifying for the present. Echoing the great fantastic stories of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, The House on the Strand is a masterful yarn of history, romance, horror, and suspense that will grip the reader until the last surprising twist.
The God of Small Things Book Summary : The beloved debut novel about an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969, from the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.
Schindler s List Book Summary : In remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the Nazi concentration camps, this award-winning, bestselling work of Holocaust fiction, inspiration for the classic film and “masterful account of the growth of the human soul” (Los Angeles Times Book Review), returns with an all-new introduction and beautifully redesigned cover. An “extraordinary” (New York Review of Books) novel based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory director Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. In this milestone of Holocaust literature, Thomas Keneally, author of The Book of Science and Antiquities and The Daughter of Mars, uses the actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden—Schindler’s Jews—to brilliantly portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil. “Astounding…in this case the truth is far more powerful than anything the imagination could invent” (Newsweek).