Monday, July 8, 2013

Audiobook Review: Tenth of December by George Saunders

This book was a big deal for literary short stories when it was released earlier this year, which obviously meant I had to read it.  I was able to get it on audio through the Free Library of Philadelphia, and I couldn't have been more pleased.  In fact, this is one of my favorites of the year so far.  Each story is set in a seemingly mundane and typical world, but there are small twists that make each world infinitely more detailed than they seem at first glance.

Writing
I couldn't be more pleased.  This is actually my first experience with George Saunders, but it definitely won't be my last.  He did an amazing job of taking everyday life and making slight changes that show humanity in a totally different light.  It gives each story an insight into the human experience without being moralistic or directly preaching to the reader.

Entertainment Value
It's the twist I love in short stories, and I was provided with them in abundance in this collection.  I found it to be compulsively listen-able and looked forward to my daily commute as a chance to enjoy the stories.  I even found myself listening in bed at night on more than one occasion.  It's literary, but not in the sense of lacking plot.  Each story moves quickly and is, I think, accessible for most readers.

Narration
I certainly enjoyed listening to the stories on audiobook, but I will also plan to read them in print at some point in the future.  I feel like I may have gotten even more out of them had I had the opportunity to read at a more leisurely pace and stop to reflect at various points.  None of that, however, is a reflection of the narration itself, which is just fine.

Overall
If you like literary fiction or short stories, it's an absolute must read.  I think it could also interest those who are fans of "twist" endings, vaguely dystopic settings, and the slightly macabre.

1 comment:

  1. It's difficult to find a good selection of short stories available via audiobook. If it's available via Audible, I'm going to give it a listen.

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