Filed under: Bookshelf, Reading | Tags: Brain Dead Megaphone, George Saunders
Big props to Joel “Dirty Martini” Smith for introducing me to George Saunders via Civilwarland In Bad Decline – some of the most genuinely funny short stories I’ve ever read. Saunders is a curious guy – a civil engineer with a past as a full on Objectivist / Rayndian who now renounces this utterly (the politics, not the engineering) and writes with humour and insight but a refreshing lack of indignation and judgement: he’s happy to let you work out where the fickle finger of blame is pointing for the most part.
The Brain Dead Megaphone isn’t perfect – there are some fairly unfunny short pieces that should have stayed in whichever magazine first printed them. But there are also a handful of longer pieces which are unfailingly fantastic. Whether talking about how discovering Kurt Vonnegut helped him become a writer, or exploring the tensions along the Tex Mex border with some almost loveably clueless Minutemen or writing a powerful and moving introduction to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (with its apparent racism and derided final reel), Saunders nails it. Wonderful stuff.
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