where I read what voxer friends have read – CivilWarLand in bad decline

I am a disorganized reader; I read without much rhyme or reason, mostly non-fiction, a bit of fiction, it seems lately I've been re-reading more than reading.

One genre that I hardly read in is short stories: Voxer M—–l review of George Saunders's collection of short stories CivilWarLand in bad decline, intrigued me enough to get down to the library and borrow a copy.

I liked CWLibd, especially the title story.  a failing, besieged, haunted Civil war theme park is a great setting; the place is besieged by bands of teenage hooligans and haunted by the ghosts of a Civil war veteran and his family. it seems to be set in contemporary America, but not quite; as teh SO noted, there is a 'slippage' that makes it not-quite real; not a full-throttled alternative reality, but slightly so.
all the stories share a workplace kind of setting, with surreal touches (the raccoon disposal service that isn't in The 400-pound CEO, the glass-paned cow that wasn't on Downtrodden Mary's failed campaign of terror), and a sardonic take on the bureaucratic language and mores of an office setting. there is a (bitter)sweetness on some of the stories like CivilWarLand in bad decline, Isabelle, and Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz that remind me of Ray Bradbury's short stories.
I didn't care much for the novella that ends the collection, Bounty.  the post-apocalyptic-landscape-where-the-'normals'-shun-the-'defectives' is a science-fiction staple, and I've  read better takes on it. this one was 'meh'.

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4 thoughts on “where I read what voxer friends have read – CivilWarLand in bad decline

  1. Actually, I sorta liked Bounty. "I was like, 'dang.'" heh.I sat down and read them all except for Braindead Megaphone, which my dog ate before I got to it.However, I recommend The Very Persistent Gappers of Fripp. Illustrated by Lane Smith, who did things like Stinky Cheese Man with Jon Scieszka. It's a great little juvenile book. And it has goats. And gappers.

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