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Publisher's Summary

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.

In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill - the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December - through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit - not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should "prepare us for tenderness".

©2013 George Saunders (P)2013 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

More, please.

Would you listen to Tenth of December again? Why?

I'd listen to certain stories over again. I've read most of this book, but Saunders' readings add a new dimension to the stories. He's very good at distinguishing characters from one another.

Have you listened to any of George Saunders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to Saunders on the radio before. I wish his earlier works were available in audio book format.

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  • Story

Gets you thinking! You're out of your comfort zone

If you could sum up Tenth of December in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating, weird, challenging.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tenth of December?

The last story, inside a person who realized that his suicide attempt was the wrong action and what he was going to miss.

Any additional comments?

It's been a few weeks since I listened to this on a cross country trip. Will listen to it again as there was a lot of detail that I slept through (I sleep when I'm not the driver). 10th of December really gets you thinking, thinking deeper. The author did a great job reading.

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Outstanding

I enjoyed the writing, the quirky sense of humor, the characters, and the intelligent moving stories. Saunders reads his own work perfectly. Thank you, George Saunders, for Tenth of December. I'll be reading (or listening) to your other work now too.

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Explanation is needed

There needs to be a foreword about the nature of the "book". A clearer distinction between the different stories would be great too.

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Wow!

This collection of short stories held me from beginning to end. There were stories of slightly altered futures, and of repentance, and of recovery. But mostly, the stories were about what it means to be alive and in the moment, all td in an adorable Midwest accent.

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Strange, good stories

What did you like best about Tenth of December? What did you like least?

The writing is excellent and the stories imaginative. Just not my favorites, being a fan of 19th century British literature.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I would have appreciated another second or so between stories. A few times, the author/narrator went on to the next story and I didn't realize the previous story had ended (I mentioned above they were strange); it just sounded like another section of the same story.

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Amazing breadth and depth

The stories are unique and universal. If the author had not been the reader, it would probably have been confusing to listen to. But he made it clear that the ambiguities and vagueness and surrealism were as inherent to stories as to life.

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An absolute delight

What made the experience of listening to Tenth of December the most enjoyable?

George Saunders is a wonderful writer who has a great talent for reading his own work. The stories are very imaginative and unusual. This is a book I have listened to repeatedly because I enjoy it so much. The humour and inventive and fresh style of writing amazes me.

What other book might you compare Tenth of December to and why?

It stands out on its own.

What does George Saunders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has such a flair for reading.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is a very thought provoking book and yes it made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

Its a very good listen.

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Surprising revelation

I loved both the story and performance of the book. Stories are both funny and deeply touching. Didn't have any real expectations and was carried away by it.

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Loved it!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Listening to the author read his own words was great. I loved listening to his quirky way of speaking the quirky words, with quirky pauses, in his quirky stories. Listened to it twice so as not to miss anything. Tempted to listen a third time! So happy that I took a chance on a recommendation by one of Audible's editors. Thank you.