In Persuasion Nation

In Persuasion Nation

by George Saunders


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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.

Talking candy bars, baby geniuses, disappointed mothers, castrated dogs, interned teenagers, and moral fables—all in this hilarious and heartbreaking collection from an author hailed as the heir to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon.
"The first thing you ought to know is that Saunders is the funniest writer in America... [But] Saunders's laughs are a cover, a diversion, beneath which reside some profoundly serious intentions regarding the morality of how we live and hte power of love and immanent death to transform us into vastly better creatures... I can't think of another writer who would try to do what Saunders is doing, or anything close to it. This is an important book."—The Nation

"Saunders is a hilarious, wicked, and pitch-perfect satirist of our times, of course, but for a satirist he has a whole lot of heart."—Esquire

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594482427
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/06/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 314,032
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(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

"Back when Philip K. Dick asked, 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' who could have imagined that George Saunders would answer?... Saunders's caustic wit, imaginative flair, and the ping-pong speed of his dialogue are on full display here." — Los Angeles Times

"Leaves you startled and hushed, grateful to be alive and to be reading." — Associated Press

"Insanely inventive... Stunningly effective... The surreal Saunders magic is working." — New York Times Book Review

"Ludicrously funny and outrageously prescient... Saunders's finest gift... is to construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity." — The Boston Globe

"Pynchon-meets-Wonder Showzen." — Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

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In Persuasion Nation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
edwinbcn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not funny, over the top, ridicule as a result of lack of true imagination, this book was very disappointing.
pharmakos555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Saunders crafts an absurd, but familiar, world¿a Baudrillarian carceral-state / resort nation of ubiquitous, coercive advertising inhabited by emotionally atrophied, linguistically impoverished narrators who feel the possibility of some other kind of life, like a dull tooth ache, at the periphery of their hyper-mediated experience. It sounds grim, but is actually very funny.
Sean191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe the fact that I had already read three or four of Saunders' other books made the magic wear off. Yes, I know he has characters in crazy situations who help to explore some philosophical views. Yes, I know he mixes reality with an outrageous fantasy...but this time, it didn't do much for me.
wunderkind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second volume of Saunders' fiction that I've read, after CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. Saunders is a good writer, but not a great one, with a tendency to be incredibly unsubtle. He has some points to make about the state of America today, and sometimes he sacrifices the story for the moral. And he does this in such a way that, after a couple of bad stories, you feel like someone is screaming "IGNORANCE! COMMERCIALISM! VIOLENCE! SELF-ABSORPTION!" at you over and over and over. And those are the stories I disliked. But then Saunders drops his message and actually focuses on the story and the characters and the emotion, and then he's actually quite good. I would say that 5 of the 12 stories in In Persuasion Nation are definitely worth reading, but the rest range from mediocre to almost offensively blatant.
zugenia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Saunders' stories are bizarre, sad, and terribly, terribly funny. He nails the absurd, comically nightmarish drone of modern mundanity¿from the discourse of corporate inspiration, to driver's ed pedagogy, to a range of anxious personal fantasy. These stories make you both grateful that they are not about you, and unsure that that is actually true.
nohablo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So yeah, Saunders wields pop-culture-consumerism as a crutch. More than a crutch. More like a prosthetic limb or an iron lung (Q: What the hell is the half-life of a book like this? WILL IT LIVE WHEN CHEETOS AND DORITOS AND THE GAP DIE? Outlooks are not so good!) But get past the occasional grating because Saunder is actually a pretty magnificent writer, with a huge, tender, pulsating heart. The degree of sympathy and affection he lavishes on all his characters is magnificent and rare - especially in satire which is mostly populated by paper villains. Very reminiscent of a slightly-less loopily cerebral DFW.
ncnsstnt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Saunders writes fantastic short-stories that are funny, smart, and infinitely re-readable. They are set in an America that doesn't quite yet exist, but might be on the verge of breaking through to reality at any moment. It doesn't take long to understand where Saunders is coming from - after one story you either "get it" or you won't. His characters are often earnest and innocent - people just trying to make the best of this bizarre, unfair, and violent world that they live in. Above all else, though, Saunders' stories are *funny*.
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He saved the best for last.
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