Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo

Virtuoso. Veteran master of the short story genre, George Saunders, has written a debut novel titled, Lincoln in the Bardo. Lincoln is the President, and the bardo is like purgatory, a transitory state after death. Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son, Willie, has died and sorrow and grief overwhelm the president in 1862 as he is also realizing that the war between the states is likely to be both long and bloody. With that as the context, Saunders structures a delightfully funny and engaging novel, packed with characters, mostly dead souls, and he uses their voices to draw us into the time and place. Saunders displays great writing virtuosity as each voice adds a perspective and insight into who we are and how we deal with everything life can throw at us. Every voice offers some way in which a reader can achieve understanding and empathy. I enjoyed this novel so much, I may read it again. Readers who enjoy literary fiction and are willing to go with Saunders’ flow that can be confusing at times, are those most likely to enjoy reading this novel. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Lincoln in the Bardo from amazon.com.

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