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In Persuasion Nation

by Rob Friesel

In Persuasion NationIn lieu of a actual substantive review, a few notes about George Saunders’ In Persuasion Nation:

(1) A typical Saunders collection. This means you’re getting some delightfully weird prose but it also means you’re getting (more than?) a few tales oblique enough to blot out the sun. Which is not to comment on whether/not those stories are any good.

(2) Recipe for a Saunders short story: take 1 protagonist (preferably male) in some way already at the end of his distressed rope; add 1 foil (preferably female) at the end of her respective rope with him, mix liberally with 2 parts cuckoldry (though henpecking will do as a substitute if beaten with sufficient vigor). Blend in a conservative portion of concentrated lampoon of consumer-culture. If you haven’t already, make sure to de-bone the protagonist before the story’s end and to remove any chance of success. Garnish with a zombie; or if no zombie is available, try ghosts.

Out to four decimal places, the composite Goodreads score is: 3.4166

  • I CAN SPEAK!â„¢ — ★★★
  • My Flamboyant Grandson — ★★★★★
  • Jon — ★★★★★
  • My Amendment — ★★★
  • The Red Bow — ★★½
  • Christmas — ★★½
  • Adams — ★★★
  • 93990 — ★★★1
  • Brad Carrigan, American — ★★★
  • In Persuasion Nation — ★★★★
  • Bohemians — ★★★½
  • Commcomm — ★★★½

A version of this review appears on

  1. Note to self: oblique, re-read will be required. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night; weekend homebrewer. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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