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"Lincoln at the Bardo" is an excellent book Options
mactoria
Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019 2:54:53 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2014
Posts: 608
Neurons: 1,507,242
Location: Stockton, California, United States
Just finished reading "Lincoln at the Bardo" ('bardo' is a Tibetan word for the transitional state of souls are after physical death) by George Saunders, a novel occurring in one day in which Abraham Lincoln buries then returns to visit (as in opens the coffin) his beloved son Willie. My undergrad degree was in literature and I've read a lot of unique books, plays, and other forms of writing, but this is the most unique. Readers on some book review sites have left very negative comments about the style it was written in, finding it very confusing or a little too out-there, but my reaction was that it was a great piece of writing.

Saunders mixed in imagined voices and conversations with annotated information from historians and biographers to form a one-of-its-kind blend. The book weaves together dozens of voices (literally) that touch on the spiritual; religiosity; death and what may be beyond this life for souls; the depth of human grief and loss; slavery and the pain of the Civil War for those who fought, those who lost soldiers, and those who were caught up and didn't understand; poverty; abuse; women's place in society; and many more questions that humans deal with today and dealt with in the 1800s. It does take a bit of patience and work to get the rhythm of what's unfolding, but I found it well worth the effort. I so recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and doesn't mind a challenge; you don't have to be an American to appreciate the themes.

Have others read this book, and if so, what were your opinions?
marybroadbent
Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019 3:39:04 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 7/26/2019
Posts: 69
Neurons: 3,650
Location: Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom
mactoria wrote:
Just finished reading "Lincoln at the Bardo" ('bardo' is a Tibetan word for the transitional state of souls are after physical death) by George Saunders, a novel occurring in one day in which Abraham Lincoln buries then returns to visit (as in opens the coffin) his beloved son Willie. My undergrad degree was in literature and I've read a lot of unique books, plays, and other forms of writing, but this is the most unique. Readers on some book review sites have left very negative comments about the style it was written in, finding it very confusing or a little too out-there, but my reaction was that it was a great piece of writing.

Saunders mixed in imagined voices and conversations with annotated information from historians and biographers to form a one-of-its-kind blend. The book weaves together dozens of voices (literally) that touch on the spiritual; religiosity; death and what may be beyond this life for souls; the depth of human grief and loss; slavery and the pain of the Civil War for those who fought, those who lost soldiers, and those who were caught up and didn't understand; poverty; abuse; women's place in society; and many more questions that humans deal with today and dealt with in the 1800s. It does take a bit of patience and work to get the rhythm of what's unfolding, but I found it well worth the effort. I so recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and doesn't mind a challenge; you don't have to be an American to appreciate the themes.

Have others read this book, and if so, what were your opinions?
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