Book Review: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders

by Eliza GREEN

A thin volume consisting of six short stories and a novella; each piece depicting a slice of a post-apocalyptic near future. Not science fiction. Written by George Saunders. Tone ranges widely between stories; fluctuating from absurdity rivaling Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle to dark futility equaling Ellison’s I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Most of the protagonists should be misanthropes, but are not. “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz,” “The Wavemaker Falters,” “Downtrodden Mary’s Failed Campaign of Terror,” and “Bounty” are particularly good. A wonderful book.

Filed under Books on July 10th, 2003