Pastoralia by George Saunders

If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly original and hauntingly familiar, the characters in these stories bring to life our most absurd tendencies, and allow us to see ourselves in a shocking, uproariously funny new light. Here you find people who live and work in a simulated, theme-park cave and communicate with their loved ones via fax machine. You encounter a family happily gathered around their favorite form of entertainment, a computer-generated TV show called The Worst That Could Happen. And you hear an upbeat self-help guru sermonize about how figuring out who's been "crapping in your oatmeal" will help raise your self-esteem. With an uncanny sense of how our culture reflects our character, Saunders mixes a deadpan naturalism with a wicked sense of humor to reveal a picture of contemporary America that's both feverishly strange and, through his characters' perseverance, oddly hopeful.

The 807th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 5th on The Millions: The Best Fiction of the Millennium (The Millions)
  2. - 63rd on The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008 (Entertainment Weekly)
  3. - The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013 (Flavor Wire)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Pastoralia Paperback 1340843 $6.90 $0.83
Pastoralia Paperback 2087196 $7.67 $5.39 2001
Pastoralia Kindle Edition 23579 $9.99 2001
Pastoralia Hardcover 419982 $19.92 $6.97 2000
Pastoralia - Stories Paperback 1512409 $9.20 $4.93
Pastoralia Paperback 86297 $5.88 $2.00 2001