Civilwarland In Bad Decline: Review

Alli Fordyce, Writer

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The much needed Christmas break gave me time to catch up on some reading. When strolling through the colorful aisles of Barnes and Noble, one book in particular stood out to me: Civilwarland In Bad Decline by George Saunders.

I definitely judged a book by it’s cover. Immediately, I grabbed it and walked to the cash register with a spring in my step. Little did I know that this collection of short stories written in 1996 would change my life forever.

The first story entitled Civilwarland In Bad Decline, which takes place in a fictitious theme park, made me cry more than any other novel, short story, or poem I’ve ever read. The absurdism and themes of loneliness throughout this story were all too real and reminded me of my own family.

Saunders’ satiric writing style is both hilarious and dark at the same time. He introduces ghosts, murder, and human insecurity and connects each so effortlessly. Each character comes to life in the matter of a few short pages.

Each story I flipped through grabbed me by the heart and still has yet to let me go. I think about these stories daily, and highly recommend for anyone in need of a good cry.