Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders- Book Review

If there had to be one book in 2017 that I was most excited about so far, it had to be Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read this one ahead of publishing date (Feb 14) and bring this review to you.

I was introduced to Saunders earlier this year and I have been tearing through his collections of short stories since. He has just enough weird to be weird, but such incredible writing skills that his books are hard to put down. Lincoln in the Bardo is his first full novel, but I even hesitate to call it a novel.

In short, it is about one single scene- President Lincoln's son has died and is now in the cemetery. Lincoln visits his deceased son and holds his son's body while weeping. There is a bit more, but I want to hold it there.

The reason why I hesitated calling this a novel is it is almost a novel deconstructed. It has short quick sentences, there isn't filler, there isn't much else except dialog (of sorts) and brief explanations of where we are.

Ghosts will talk to one another, history books will paint a scene, and the reader will have to figure out what is happening by putting it all together. The same scene, for example, will be narrated from 5 different history books each with its own take. One might read- It was a beautiful day, one might read- A cool breeze shifted the trees as sunset, a final might read- The rain clouds parted, so sunshine could pour into the cemetery and that's the chapter! I am not doing it justice, but I am hoping it gives an idea what this book is like. I started it, had to figure out what was happening, and started it again because I wasn't prepared the first time for what I was reading.

This book is brilliant and needs to be read, but I think some will absolutely hate it and that is ok.
I gave this one 5 stars!

Here is your Amazon link- Lincoln in the Bardo

* I wish to thank Random House and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. I received it for free in exchange for an honest review.

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