The Braindead Megaphone

The Braindead Megaphone

by George Saunders


$13.63 $14.00 Save 3% Current price is $13.63, Original price is $14. You Save 3%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, July 25


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

The breakout book from "the funniest writer in America"--not to mention an official "Genius"--his first nonfiction collection ever.

George Saunders's first foray into nonfiction is comprised of essays on literature, travel, and politics. At the core of this unique collection are Saunders's travel essays based on his trips to seek out the mysteries of the "Buddha Boy" of Nepal; to attempt to indulge in the extravagant pleasures of Dubai; and to join the exploits of the minutemen at the Mexican border. Saunders expertly navigates the works of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Esther Forbes, and leads the reader across the rocky political landscape of modern America. Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision, Saunders's endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594482564
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2007
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 484,363
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

George Saunders is the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo; Tenth of DecemberIn Persuasion NationThe Brief and Frightening Reign of PhilPastoraliaCivilWarLand in Bad DeclineThe Braindead Megaphone; and a children's book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. His work appears regularly in the New YorkerHarper's and GQ. In 2006, he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." In 2000, The New Yorker named him one of the "Best Writers Under 40."  He is a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. He teaches at Syracuse University.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Some novelists seem to make great reporters. Two of the best journalists of the last 50 years are Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace; their literary nonfiction is jaw-droppingly good, the equal of their fiction. Maybe it's time to add noted short-story writer George Saunders to this short list... Is Saunders' book on target? Hoo boy. [Grade:] A"Entertainment Weekly

"Saunders's bitingly clever and compassionate essays are a Mark Twain-syle shot in the arm for Americans, an antidote to the dumbing down virus plaguing our country."—Vanity Fair

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Braindead Megaphone 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Lenaphoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of essays from George Saunders covers a wide range of territory, discussing everything from the author¿s experiences visiting the Buddha Boy of Nepal to an analysis of Twain¿s Huckleberry Finn. Saunders sharp eye and even sharper wit come across in most all of these essays, though I think his talent is best displayed in the longer travel pieces. His humor is balanced with a good deal of heartfelt emotion when he writes about watching Arab children see snow for the first time in the surreal fairy tale of modern Dubai, and his travels along the US-Mexico border in search of greater understanding of the immigration issue reveal a world far too complex to be explained in a sound bite. The title essay, about the decline of intelligent content in mass media, is particularly spot on. Overall, a very worthwhile and entertaining read.
Sean191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm glad I gave this a shot. I've read most of Saunder's other works (maybe all?) and while my wife loves him, I was indifferent. It was just because of her opinion that I kept giving him a try. She hasn't read this one yet, but the funny thing is, I don't know if she'll like it as much as his other work. Yet for me, this was the work I enjoyed the most (maybe the Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil would tie). There were hits and misses. When Saunders was trying too hard to be satirical it fell flat. But when he was writing from the field about an experience (whether with border militia or about the Buddha boy) he was spot on. Those stories were really bright points and made it well-worth the read.
giovannigf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Too twee for my taste. There were three decent essays (the more journalistic ones) and there were some that were just unreadable - a step away from Garrison Keillor ("Ask the Optimist"? Oof!).
TheAmpersand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The thing I really love about George Saunders is his voice. It's kindly, unhurried and reads very, very naturally. I can't think of too many writers who do interior monologues as well as he does. There's a lot of that in this book, even in the shorter, jokier pieces that were published in the New Yorker's humor section. "Mr. Vonnegut in Sumatra," which describes how reading Slaughterhouse-Five changed his writing and his life, gives us some insight about how he might have developed his style. What I don't like so much about George Saunders is that, in his rush to write something real, true, honest and meaningful, he often seems to overshoot the mark. He admits, in the aforementioned Vonnegut piece, that his earliest efforts at writing came off as didactic and rigidly naturalistic. Saunders is the opposite of that now ¿ wickedly ironic, cleverly conceptual, and tenderly human ¿ but sometimes I feel that a bit of what can only be described as twenty-first century liberal schmaltz sneaks in to his work though the back door. Don't get me wrong; I love this stuff, and Saunders certainly earns his little epiphanies. Affecting as it is, I suppose it's a little disconcerting to see a writer stump for our common humanity so sincerely. Reading this over, though, this criticism may say more about the reader than the writer.The nicest surprise in The Braindead Megaphone is Saunders criticism, which is insightful, well-informed, inventive and sometimes charmingly cracked. It's nice to see Saunders work in this medium for the first time and nice to know that his criticism's as enjoyable as some of his best short stories.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of essays contains a wide range of topics, all thoroughly infused with the writer¿s point of view. He is decidedly anti-war, and this is manifested in a number of his essays. He is quite serious about his views on what great literature should look like. He is ambivalent about immigration issues as well as his thoughts on the Buddha Boy (a Nepali boy who supposedly mediated for nearly a year without moving or eating), playing devil¿s advocate as he explores both sides of these issues. However deep his topics, thought, there is a veneer of humor cast over all the essays. Whether it is a satirical comment or a random infusion of his own humanity, the reader can examine these serious issues for him- or herself, without feeling preached to, lectured to, or plain old bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sits by Jordan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*A man wearing a black leather trench coat sets in front of a campfire in the forest, a half dozen tents set up in a wide arch around one half of the fire. Meat was cooking on a metal rod over the fire.*