Customer Reviews for

Tenth of December

Average Rating 3.5
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(23)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

This book is not written for me.

None of these short stories appealed to me; none of the charecters are likeable and the details of their lives are mostly depressing. Since this reviewer is 81 years old and lives in the Northeast, he suggests you consult other reviews.

posted by RalfK on January 22, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

I've never felt more compelled to write a book review. I was so

I've never felt more compelled to write a book review. I was so disappointed with this book...the stories are strange, they don't have a good flow, and I found myself wanting to skip pages, hoping it would get better along the way. No such luck. I have always found i...
I've never felt more compelled to write a book review. I was so disappointed with this book...the stories are strange, they don't have a good flow, and I found myself wanting to skip pages, hoping it would get better along the way. No such luck. I have always found it easy to immerse myself in a book, but this took some real effort, and I still couldn't manage to stay interested in the weird, twisted stories with unsatisfying endings. What a waste of time and money.

posted by 17273176 on January 26, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    I've never felt more compelled to write a book review. I was so

    I've never felt more compelled to write a book review. I was so disappointed with this book...the stories are strange, they don't have a good flow, and I found myself wanting to skip pages, hoping it would get better along the way. No such luck. I have always found it easy to immerse myself in a book, but this took some real effort, and I still couldn't manage to stay interested in the weird, twisted stories with unsatisfying endings. What a waste of time and money.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    This book is not written for me.

    None of these short stories appealed to me; none of the charecters are likeable and the details of their lives are mostly depressing. Since this reviewer is 81 years old and lives in the Northeast, he suggests you consult other reviews.

    13 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2013

    Swallowed it whole, but a high point for me was Escape from Spid

    Swallowed it whole, but a high point for me was Escape from Spiderhead--so tightly written and hauntingly bleak it stuck with me for almost a day.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Couldnt even get through the sample!!! :(

    Thank goodness that was free. It felt like I was back in college, stoned, and despretely trying to sqeeze some sense out of the words. Anybody else get that vibe from this one?

    10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Awesome writer!

    Just heard a review of this book on NPR. Read sample and had to "BUY NOW." Absolutely genious writing!








    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    Overrated.....

    This collection of short stories was a disappointment to me. I expected something top-notch, given all the ultra-enthusiastic reviews.
    As a result, I bought the book sight-unseen. I've not been able to complete one story. The characters do not engage me, and the flat,detached style is a turn-off. Be sure you sample before buying.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Thumbs down

    Get the free sample before you buy. I wish i had. What a waste of money! It is hard for me to understand how any of the stories in this collection made it to print.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Yes.... these stories are strange,wierd....unreliable...you lose

    Yes.... these stories are strange,wierd....unreliable...you lose your footing ..you don't relate to these bizarre characters . You need a breath of fresh air after reading several of the stories.
    Exasperated, you put the book down and go to sleep.The next day you find yourself thinkiing about these sad, strange people and bam!!
    It hits you....you feel a painful knot in your chest, its compassion and worse its recognition.
    That's why he's a genius.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Just great characters. Not your neighbors but they just could be

    If you are an avid NewYorker reader you've read a lot of these stories in shorter form. I recognized them as I started the new story and then focused on the way Mr Saunders expanded the scope. Almost all of the time it was for the better. The title story seemed to me to be more graphic in it's shorter form in the magazine although I probably brought too much into it from my vivid memory of this exquisite tale.

    Definitely a wonderful collection.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It is quite something to come across a writer of versatility and

    It is quite something to come across a writer of versatility and skill who doesn’t figure (now that they have your ear—you bought the book, didn’t you?) they will add more than they need just because they can. This is a slim volume of stories that all of us should have--to read, to cherish, and to share. Saunders has a distinct voice that reveals us as we are now. We may say that his stories do not have the language of the old masters, but they have the language we use, with more kindness, generosity of spirit, and humor mixed in than most of us can rustle up on an ordinary day.

    In the “Afterword” to Although Of Course You End up Becoming Yourself, an extended interview with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky writing for Rolling Stone magazine, Lipsky says of Wallace’s style that he wrote “the stuff you semi-thought, the background action you blinked through at supermarkets and commutes.” You heard it, you know it, but it doesn’t register enough for you to articulate and consider. Wallace was able to do that, and Saunders does it also. He reaches in and gets that real thing that you discarded, shines it, and shows you how it defines us.

    If I could ask him, I would ask Saunders how he chose which stories to include in this volume. He spans the range of us, starting out in the mind of suburban teenagers looking at each other with longing or appraisal ("Victory Lap"), and ends with a gentleman of great age descending the staircase of dementia to his grave ("Tenth of December"). In between we catch glimpses of ourselves as returning soldiers filled with anger and hope ("Home"), twenty-somethings undergoing moral and medical testing ("Escape from Spiderhead"), and middle-aged parents aching to give their children more than they themselves had growing up ("The Semplica Girl Diaries").

    Saunders is funny, kind, precise with his sword-thrusts which reach the heart but do not kill. I do not think we need ask “where do you get your inspiration?” since echoes of Mao Zedong ring through "Exhortation", and we also know the zany neighbor in "Sticks", or can imagine the source of the internal dialogue in "My Chivalric Fiasco". These people are us, and he treats us gently and allows us to laugh, with regret sometimes, with recognition at other times. But he doesn’t laugh at us and we don’t laugh with cynicism. We are grateful to Saunders because, despite his pointing out our failings and our shortcomings, we can sense he still likes us, and even celebrates our efforts in trying to make sense of, and make our way in, this crazy world.

    I have too many favorite bits to single one out. But perhaps after all, my favorite bit is the fact that he doesn’t use too many words. It is honed and toned and polished and clear and gets to the heart of the matter. It isn’t a long book, so you can easily find your own favorite bit. It’s all good. Go out and buy it. This is one you will want to reread: you will read it when you are happy, and you will read it when you are sad, you will read to see how he did that.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Reviews

    Be sure to read the professional reviewers' opinions of this collection before you dismiss it completely.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Prose is tripey.

    You can almost smell the alcoholic breath coming off the squeezed, pinched off words and paragraphs this author employs in his desparate attempt to write The Great American novel. Not worth it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Very disappointing

    The person who likened George Saunders to a modern day Mark Twain, did Mark Twain a disservice. Although a couple of the stories had an interesting twist, the language and situations were so distasteful, that they were not worth the time spend reading them. I tried to give this a zero star rating, but had to give at least one in order to submit the review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Stay Away!

    This is a classic example of all that is wrong with fiction today. The stories are all grammatically well-constructed and sometimes organizationally interesting. But they are all absolutely devoid of content. They appear to be writing exercises that Saunders has constructed solely for his own amusement and understanding. The fact that this book has gotten good reviews from "major" critics is utterly depressing. Most of the stories would earn a D- in a high school creative writing class. Don't waste your money on this tripe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    I¿m not a whole-hearted fan of Youssarian, Vonnegut, Defoe or so

    I’m not a whole-hearted fan of Youssarian, Vonnegut, Defoe or some other great observers of the human condition and circumstance, but George Saunders‘ writing offers me something a little different.  Something I require in an author’s voice, just to finish the book.  The sound of hope.  If you are in need of a realistic adult voice: its observations on our lives and what we are putting forward for posterity, this is the book for you.  Read it twice!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2013

    Good Book to read

    Good Book to read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Dear Professional Critics: Please stop holding up the mediocre as the profound.

    I simply wish more critics would understand that writing built on disjointed thoughts, weirdness for weirdness sake, and disturbing imagery is actually quite easy to execute. As it is in sculpture and photography, eliciting shock is almost never a meaningful contribution. This book is akin to a moderately skilled jazz saxophonist who largely wails alone, unstructured, and uncontrolled with nothing of any real substance. A few moments of brilliance, sure, but little staying power.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Blahhhh!!

    Way over Hyped because of who the Author is. Tries way too hard to
    be intellectual instead of writing a good story. To bad, it had promise but didn't deliver.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    Disappointing

    The only positive.......i started with free sample and read first story. Made NO sense. Pleased to see I'm not alone in that thought. Highly discourage reading this one :(

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Excellent

    One of today's great writers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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