Tenth of December, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A brilliant collection, even if its author pulls too many punches. You can wring a cheery ending from even the darkest of these stories which, for some reason, left me feeling a little disappointed that the depths of despair they hint at are never truly plumbed. However, almost every piece is brilliant, and they vary enough to each be memorable in their own right. An easy recommendation.

Review by

Uncannily like David Foster Wallace in tone and use of language, except without footnotes. The style is fizzing and inventive, and Saunders is good at slowly revealing a horrid truth bubbling away under the bland conversations of his characters. There are bleak character studies of damaged people put in impossible situations, in a disturbing America, sliding into dystopia or already there. The only thing I didn't enjoy were the brief bits of true SF, seemingly written, just like DFW’s, by someone who thinks SF is a joke and an excuse to make up silly futuristic brand names. But most of this collection is haunting and memorable.