Read Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders Online

Lincoln in the Bardo

In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any otherfor no one but Saunders could conceive it.February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincolns beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. My poor boy, he was too good for this earth, the president says at the time. God has called him home. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boys body.From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a thrilling, supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory, where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional statecalled, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardoa monumental struggle erupts over young Willies soul.Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fictions ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voicesliving and dead, historical and inventedto ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?...

Title : Lincoln in the Bardo
Author :
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ISBN : 9780812995343
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 343 pages
Url Type : Home » Lincoln » Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo A Novel George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo A Novel George Saunders on FREE shipping on qualifying offers NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Paperback February The Civil War is less than one year old The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders Official website of New York Times bestselling author, George Saunders His new book, Tenth of December, is on sale January . Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders Review Time Read More An Interview with George Saunders on his Novel, Trump and Compromise Along with the wonderfully bizarre, empathy abounds in Lincoln in the Bardo, for not Lincoln in the Bardo Audiobook Audible A day trial plus your first audiobook, free credit month after trial good for any book, any price Easy exchanges swap any book you don t love Keep Review Lincoln in the Bardo Shows a President LINCOLN IN THE BARDO By George Saunders pages Random House George Saunders s much awaited first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo Lincoln in the Bardo wins Man Booker Prize The Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is named winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction Lincoln in the Bardo is the first full length novel from George Lincoln in the Bardo A Novel Characters BookRags A detailed description of Lincoln in the Bardo A Novel characters and their importance. Man Booker Prize Lincoln in the Bardo by George S o now we have it, his first novel Is Lincoln in the Bardo some kind of sprawling, multithreaded, speculative future America Not exactly Instead he s taken a left Lincoln In The Bardo Movie Megan Mullally Nick Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman have acquired movie rights to Lincoln In The Bardo, the bestselling novel from George Saunders.

Lincoln in the Bardo Reviews

  • Kevin Ansbro

    "My son, here may indeed be torment, but not death."

    —Dante (Purgatorio)

    There really, really must be something wrong with me.

    Many of my esteemed Goodreads friends, whose rave reviews I put a lot of faith in, are smitten with George Saunders' book. It's even won the blimmin' Booker Prize for crying out loud!

    Um, where to begin? *he says, wringing his hands in the manner of a doctor delivering bad news*

    I tried my hardest to like it, I really did - in the same way I once tried to like green smooth

  • Jen

    Sorry Saunders, but I disliked your novel. Clearly, I'm swimming against the current on this one. Having read some convincing reviews, I thought it must be included in my TBR this year. Well, I almost tossed it aside 100 pages in and probably should have and not given it a rating.

    This is a read of loss. A parent - president Lincoln - has lost his 11 year old son to an illness.

    The bardo - is the place between heaven and hell - a purgatory of sorts. It's a story of ghosts, and of Willie, who are

  • Liz

    I should have known. I really don't do well with the avant garde. I want a plot, I want a story. I want character development. This offers none of the above. I felt lost. Vague memories of Ionesco and Beckett kept cropping up as I tried to plough through this. The book alternates between reading like a thesis, full of quotes from “other” sources and then almost more like a play. Ghosts come and ghosts go. They each have their own little mini-story but there is little continuity. Some ghosts appe ...more

  • Steve

    You know those half-awake, half-asleep dreams where you’re working through your problems of the day? The first wakeful moments in the shower usually let you know that any solutions you thought might apply were pure nonsense. Even more often you realize the things you were thinking about weren’t really problems anyway – it was all just anxiety for the hell of it. Anyway, last night I went to bed thinking about what I might say about this celebrated new Saunders book I just read. Even as I was fal

    Quality of writing = 0.88

    Creativity in structuring = 0.93

    Depth of probes into character = 0.48

    Exploration of themes = 0.85

    Achievement versus expectations = 0.27

    Applying equal additive weights to each variable we get:

    Rating = 0.88 + 0.93 + 0.48 + 0.85 + 0.27 = 3.41

    I’d read several rave reviews which enticed me. And the premise (Lincoln’s visits to the cemetery after his dear son Willie died at which time and place the transitioning souls there in the bardo encountered him) sounded interesting, too, even if a tad gimmicky. The multiplicity of stories and situations were a chance to place all of humankind on a platter for Lincoln (and us) to ingest. The bardo is a Buddhist concept pertaining to the state of being between death and rebirth – presumably a time of reflection and atonement. As Saunders envisioned it, the cross-section of inhabitants was a wide and noisy one. Still, a more enlightened understanding of one another’s ways was possible. Empathy and acceptance were the apparent goals. I give Saunders plenty of credit for highlighting these themes. (I give him even more credit for this commencement speech he gave a few years ago, making a related case for kindness.) My only disappointment was that the individual stories seemed too diffuse and too thin to really permeate.

    The book touched briefly on what life must have been like for Lincoln at that point. For someone who was said to be unusually kindhearted and sympathetic to begin with, the grief of Willie’s death along with the weight of the war were almost more than he could bear. Even so, as his country’s leader he knew he couldn’t wallow. Instead, he had to remind himself of the moral math (though he might not have thought of it in quite those terms) of suffering. His time in the cemetery reminded him that everyone has hardships of some kind at some time, some far worse than others. His job was to make decisions to minimize the cumulative sum of it. So, which is the smaller amount?

    Cumulative suffering given war = Σ Misery[i, t | war] (summed across all individuals i, and future episodes t)


    Cumulative suffering given no war = Σ Misery[i, t | no war] (summed across all individuals i, and future episodes t)

    The misery of slavery was given a suitably high weight, of course. In fact, Lincoln’s empathy for all was given a representational boost when certain of the souls discovered they could inhabit him and cross-absorb experiences – literally (for purposes of the story) walking a mile in his shoes. A former slave was notably included.

    Ancillary mathematical discussion: Certain traits seem to combine additively to produce a given effect. Others are multiplicative. In the example that comes to mind regarding Lincoln (hagiography alert), I’m positing an exponential relationship.

    Power ^ Empathy = Greatness

    One of the thornier issues we face as we endeavor to empathize is the amount of dispensation to assign. It’s easy to say that some higher moral authority has that job, but I still think the old “free will vs. determinism” debate is a good one. Several in the bardo argued that they may have done bad things, but were compelled by their natures and circumstances to do so. Expressing it in an equation, we might get something like this:

    Actions and Attitudes = function(Genetics, Brain chemistry, Upbringing, Outside influences like friends or books, Physical needs) + Residual

    The residual in this model is the part of our actions and attitudes that cannot be explained by the drivers. It’s what I’m imagining free will to be. So the question is, what portion, if any, is to be labeled a choice, superseding what the assigned factors would otherwise dictate? Is that what we’re to be judged by?

    I was coached once, when putting together a presentation, to go easy on the equations. Eyes for another half your audience will glaze over for each additional one you include. I guess he was saying:

    Remaining interest = Original interest * (0.5 ^ # of equations)

    How many of you does that leave? I’m not even sure I can include myself, having mentally checked out while summing the miseries of those potentially reading this review of a sort. ...more

  • Emily May

    What a painfully boring book. 166 narrators chiming in and overlapping in a story that seems so random and disconnected for the most part. It might be deep, and it might be clever, but if there isn't the barest spark of something to make you care what's on the next page - then why even bother turning it?

    I gave up at 35%. Life is way too short.

  • Lisa

    Yes, I know I stand alone in my dislike for this book. EVERYONE loves it. Nope, not me. I actually hated it. I've heard people say they wanted to throw a book across a room and I never understood that desire to harm a book, but for me, this is one to throw. I should know better than to read a book in which the review says something like "an alternative writing" "a different way of telling a story". That just means it's weird, no plot, no character development, an author trying something new that ...more

  • Lyn

    A reader of George Saunders’ 2017 novel Lincoln in the Bardo will make immediate comparisons to Thornton Wilder’s 1938 drama Our Town and Edgar Lee Master’s 1915 book Spoon River Anthology as well as observing references to Dante’s Inferno and the Bible.

    Saunders, known for such unique and original works as Tenth of December and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, has again stretched the limits of creative writing and has here produced a work of fiction unlike any other. Extensively researched (though I

  • Diane Barnes


    This is the most unusual, incredible reading experience I have ever had. George Saunders is either a genius, or an other-worldly creature living among us and posing as an author.

    I will leave the book description to Goodreads and the book jacket. I will only say this: if you enter this world and let yourself be carried along, you will emerge a different reader at the end. Some of you may not be able to do this, some of you may not wish to accept what is