Pastoralia: Stories and a Novella, by George Saunders. I’ve never read anything like these stories: interior monologue so skewed and entertaining that the action seems secondary. But there is action, and it’s pretty intense: a boy dies riding his bike, a poor swimmer plunges into a fast river in a possibly doomed attempt to save two girls from drowning,
an aunt comes back from the grave to save her relations, a man is afraid to stop working long enough to find out if his son’s condition has gone critical. Saunders is masterful at bringing a protagonist’s reasoning from black to white in a totally believable way.
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