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Tenth of December: Stories – tekijä:…

Tenth of December: Stories (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2013; vuoden 2014 painos)

– tekijä: George Saunders (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3,0091573,350 (3.95)193
A collection of stories which includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.
Teoksen nimi:Tenth of December: Stories
Kirjailijat:George Saunders (Tekijä)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2014), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

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Joulukuun kymmenes (tekijä: George Saunders) (2013)


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englanti (156)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (157)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 157) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Saunders specializes in whatever the opposite of feel-good stories are, and he's very good at conjuring forth from the reader a peculiar mix of pity and amusement for the plight of the protagonist. CivilWarLand In Bad Decline, his last collection I read, featured stories that were pretty much all about menial workers and the terrible lives they endured; this one has some of those too, but even though there are more types of stories, and they vary much more in length and style, the same Saunders voice is still there. My favorite out of them might be "Al Roosten", because of how skillfully Saunders brings out eponymous star's miserable, pathetic need to be loved, but "The Semplica Girl Diaries", with its interesting diary format and tragic story arc, is just as good. The title story didn't do much for me, but I liked pretty much everything else. Sometimes his diction gets a little David Foster Wallace-ish in the bad way, in that you're a little distracted by a sense of artificiality in the prose, but those moments are rare and brief, and nearly forgotten in the race to get to the next sad but funny story of someone trapped in seemingly unendurable drudgery. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
A brilliant collection of ten short stories from George Saunders – funny, poignant, and touching on things like class, aging, and the dehumanizing aspects of modern science. There is creativity and breadth here, an easy flow to the writing, and great pace. I also liked the excerpt of the conversation Saunders had with David Sedaris about the writing process itself that was present in this volume, which also talked about the semi-sacred, near-holy aspect of reading.

Tenth of December – the title story is actually last in the collection, but is so brilliant and memorable that I put at the top of the list. In it, an elderly man with a terminal illness elects to end his (and his family’s) suffering by hiking out into the snow of a deserted area. A boy with an active imagination is also out there, however, and they’re destined to meet. The imaginations of these two people, at such opposite ends of life, their struggles, and the great humanism in how the story plays out were masterful. Considering my own father at the end of his days while reading this was devastating.

Victory Lap – a story of a kidnapping attempt cleverly told through the eyes of three people – a teenage girl (the intended victim), the criminal, and the teenage boy across the street. The boy’s parents are very strict, making the description of his life pretty funny, and we hear their voices in his mind, just as we hear the criminal’s parents’ voices in his. Parenting styles are thus reflected in these people – e.g. probably loving and supporting (resulting in a fanciful imagination and maybe naively opening the door to a stranger), cruel (resulting in cruelty), and ridiculously structured (resulting in rebelling in imagined obscenities but still feeling the heaviness of their instructions within his mind). A very well-executed story.

Puppy – also very well done, and another window into parenting, this time with mom who is fully invested and supportive of her kids (tellingly a reaction to how poor her own mother had been), travelling to look at a puppy that’s up for adoption. Even in how the woman thinks of the playfulness of her husband, and the strength of her faith and optimism, we sense that the kids are in a wonderful family. Once they get to the place with the puppy, however, they get a disturbing glimpse into a family living in filth with a ‘problem child’ chained up in the back, which is quite a contrast. Saunders wisely humanizes the mother in that environment and gives her a lovely thought: “Love was liking someone how he was and doing things to help him get even better,” but still paints a pretty horrifying picture.

Escape from Spiderhead – really enjoyed this one, a tale of near-futuristic experimentation on prisoners, where scientists inject them with advanced drugs to cause specific reactions. We see a broad spectrum of drugs, including one that induce the person to see another as their deepest possible soulmate, and one that causes horrible feelings of pain and depression. I loved it because it hints at how delicate our brain chemistries are, just a little tweak here and there and suddenly our entire outlooks are changed, which rings true, and because it touches on how cruel people can be, thinking they’re acting for the greater good. Well written, and could see this one expanded and made into a film.

The Semplica Girl Diaries – a story that parodies a man through his diary entries, recounting his attempts to be a good parent and to have the better things in life like his daughter’s rich friends. It’s got some of those same elements of humor, but then the horror of what the rich friends have gradually unfolds, giving the story a very dark edge. The only thing that wore on me a bit was the semi-literate narration from the diary entries, which pushed the boundaries of enjoyability given this story’s length, 60 pages.

My Chivalric Fiasco – A janitor at a medieval theme park stumbles across his boss raping a co-worker, and in the effort to insuring his silence, finds himself promoted to playing one of the costumed roles. As part of that role he’s given a designer drug meant to make him speak as a knight would, but it has the side effect that it also makes him more honorable – thus making it hard for him to hold his tongue about the crime. It’s a creative, funny story, and the narration that’s modulated to the drug’s onset and gradual withdrawal is clever.

Sticks – literally two pages long, detailing a family ritual of decorating a metal pole in the yard, and how it reflects the psyche of the father in increasingly blunt ways as he gets older. An interesting little vignette that speaks to regret and loss, but it would have been nice if it had been further developed.

Exhortation – An email sent to the employees of a company asking them to work harder, where the humor comes from just how non-self-aware the manager is, and how he contradicts himself in his lame attempt to improve morale. Lots of fun probably for anyone who has been in a corporate environment.

Al Roosten – A middle-aged man who runs a failing business volunteers himself for a fundraising auction where people bid on having lunch with him and others, including a more successful and attractive man that he alternately envies, hates, and befriends in his imagination. It’s funny how he consistently sees himself as better than he is, e.g. during the auction or thinking he can become mayor, and so when Saunders shows him thinking he’s better than the homeless, who he refers to as “hobos” and thinks of in an old-fashioned way of stealing pies off windowsills, we see even more how out of touch he is (and how he may become homeless someday).

Home – Probably the least successful story for me; a veteran who was dishonorably discharged returns to his hometown to see his mother, who is living with a deadbeat, and his sister and her husband. While Saunders is talking about class in this story and several others, here it just felt rather dull, and I wish he had delved a little more into the vet’s psyche after what he had seen and taken part in while in the military. ( )
3 ääni gbill | Apr 3, 2021 |
I read this quickly because I know I'm going to revisit it (and all of Saunders's collections) in a few months. Some of it's pretty typical fare for Saunders (not a bad thing) and some -- e.g. the title story, which is really excellent -- has more in the way of redemption in it that I'm accustomed to from Saunders. I'd love to see more from him in that vein. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
George Saunders has been known as an excellent short-story writer. This is my first experience with him (it won't be my last!) but some of his previous collections are highly-regarded. This collection was a mixture of slightly altered universes that you would not believe you would find in our current world and stories of ordinary people that you would fully expect could live in the town or city you find yourself. I found the stories "Victory Lap", "Escape from Spiderhead" and "The Semplica Girl Diaries" to be my favorites, but I enjoyed them all, including the two-page "Sticks".

Of the stories that focused on situations that you would find in everyday life, "Home" describes a war veteran, who committed some untold atrocity, returning home and beginning the process of reconnecting with family. Was he guilty? It would seem so, but there seems to be little interest in understanding the situation in which he committed these acts. We judge using our world as the baseline, not recognizing that many people, including us perhaps, might behave in unforeseen ways if forced into a similar situation. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
Just a bit too much "style" for my taste. Fine writing, somewhat interesting, started skipping immediately. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 157) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised, those Americans who struggle to pay the bills, make the rent, hold onto a job they might detest — folks who find their dreams slipping from their grasp as they frantically tread water, trying to keep from drowning.

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (2 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Saunders, Georgeensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Damsma, HarmKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Lovell, JoelEsipuhemuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Miedema, NiekKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For Pat Pacino
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Three days shy of her fifteenth birthday, Alison Pope paused at the top of the stairs.
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Based on the experience of my life, which I have not exactly hit out of the park, I tend to agree with that thing about, If it's not broke, don't fix it. And would go even further to: Even if it is broke, leave it alone, you'll probably make it worse.
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

A collection of stories which includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.

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Arvio (tähdet)

Keskiarvo: (3.95)
0.5 3
1 8
1.5 2
2 30
2.5 13
3 137
3.5 48
4 314
4.5 48
5 219

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