Pastoralia by George Saunders

Pastoralia - George Saunders



I'm really more of a 3.5 on this one, but I feel generous today, so I'm going to officially record this rating as a 4. Because I like the darkness, the slightly skewed sense of humor, the obvious grain of salt with which the author looks at modern society.


But it also seemed a little repetitive - like all of the stories were just variations on the same theme, which is fine, but by the end felt less fresh and more like something I'd already read before.


And why were all the women in the stories so unpleasant? Granted, none of his characters are particularly likable, but really the only marginally pleasant woman is the fat one that the creepy barber wants to force into working out? That was unsettling.


This is probably a collection I would recommend reading over a period of time - so that the last story isn't quite as fresh in your mind. Standouts of the collection were the title story, Pastoralia; the pseudo-zombie tale Sea Oak; and the final, brief The Falls, which I would have loved to see be a much longer tale.