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moving under skies

NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy:  you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com. 

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline - George Saunders

My current entry for my annual litmus test to evaluate whether or not I've transformed into a Short Story Reader. This one didn't convert me, and failed to be one of the rare exceptions of the genre that excites. Loved: the surreality of the settings, the dreamy decay of it all. Hated: the unexplored, unrelented darkness of the plots. Shock value much? It all left me cold with a veneer of active dislike; I don't think there was a single story that engaged me beyond the shallow level of dark fascination. Neutral: the quality of writing itself. I didn't notice it ever being great or even remarkable. Why the slavish adoration, World? I don't get it.