Sunday, March 25, 2007

"See you at the Oscars!"

This post serves as something of a public service (as opposed to the rest, which are more like saintly missives kissed by seraphim), as I think - think - at least a couple of my readers have never read anything by George Saunders, who I'm almost certain they would go unabashedly batty for in no time. Many of Saunders' recent stories initially resemble an expanded, satirical McSweeeny's feature or some other internet-era feat of whimsy, but are eventually fraught with uncommon humanism and Vonnegut-like pathos that distinguishes him above so many other contemporary writers. I just finished his latest short story collection, In Persuasion Nation, and it really clicked with me beyond anything of his I'd previously read, which includes the fantastic Pastoralia and the earlier CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (which I felt at the time suffered from seemingly forced miserableness). In short, Saunders is the funniest writer I know of working today, certainly one of the most clever and original, and if it catches you right his work is also genuinely affecting.

Wait, did I say George Saunders? I meant Tom DeLay w/ Stephen Mansfield. That's a mia-gulpa for yours truly.


BayonneMike said...

I've only read CivilWarLand and didn't care for it. I'll reconsider after your endorsement. Have you read Ian Frazier? Dating Your Mom and Coyote v. Acme have some funny bits in them.

Chris said...

Yeah, I definitely recommend giving him another chance if that one didn't do it for you. I haven't read any Ian Frazier but I'll look into it.