The Brain-Dead Megaphone


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Jordan Warren. Rosaria A. Evie B. Order a quality paper and leave your worries behind Order now. Want a discount? Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss out on our special offers! Jan 21, David rated it liked it Shelves: anthologies-and-collections , read-in Based on this collection, George Saunders joins David Foster Wallace on the bench of terrifically smart writers I admire tremendously and who seem like wonderful, funny, mensch -like people Ultimately, an excess of cleverness marred 'In Persuasion Nation' for me, and the same is true of this collection.

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There are some terrific pieces - the title essay, in particular, is a tour de force. I Based on this collection, George Saunders joins David Foster Wallace on the bench of terrifically smart writers I admire tremendously and who seem like wonderful, funny, mensch -like people I loved his analysis of the Barthelme story and the essay on Twain. The piece on Dubai and 'Thought Experiment' were great, but I think both have been anthologized previously, as I'd read each already.

Although 'Buddha Boy' was well-written, the subject matter didn't interest me all that much.

Review: The Braindead Megaphone

So, this collection stacks up pretty much like every David Foster Wallace collection I've ever bought and I've bought them all - two or three essays so brilliant they leave me breathless, three or four more that are good, but not great, and some that are just headache-inducing. Except that generally Wallace's brilliance can land him a fourth star. Not the case for Saunders. Oct 14, Katie rated it really liked it. No matter.

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Still so funny, is my point. But when he turns his perceptively comedic eye on the real world Dubai, Brownsville Texas, crappy American culture his signature absurdist voice resonates clearly and with tremendous feeling. Smart, sharp, compassionate and sly, George Saunders is not to be missed. Apr 06, Jen rated it it was ok Recommends it for: big fans of Saunders willing to be slightly annoyed. This book is like a summary of how I feel about George Saunders: sometimes hilarious, insightful, moving, surprising, and sometimes just gimmicky and self-indulgent and annoying.

A few of the essays the Dubai one, the dog one are pretty great. A lot of them are okay. A few are awful, especially the ones that are supposed to be about some idea or issue but are really just all about how clever the author is. Overall, a disappointment, but worth reading if you're willing to skip around. I still l This book is like a summary of how I feel about George Saunders: sometimes hilarious, insightful, moving, surprising, and sometimes just gimmicky and self-indulgent and annoying.

I still love George but now I have even more exceptions to my love. One of those mixed-bag books you get when you're a hot commodity :P "Can we pull together enough assorted stuff you wrote to make a spine thick enough to print your name on it?! Great to get more insight into Saunders' style and his teaching method. It seems to me that Saunders' style is but one way of approaching writing.

Whenever someone seems so singularly brilliant, in any field, I forget they're just one person who doesn't One of those mixed-bag books you get when you're a hot commodity :P "Can we pull together enough assorted stuff you wrote to make a spine thick enough to print your name on it?! Whenever someone seems so singularly brilliant, in any field, I forget they're just one person who doesn't possess all the answers.


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Personally, when I read the stories of these guys, I picture everyone as something like a tiny cartoon character. They don't feel like real people. But you know, at the end of the day, the straighter, whiter and Americaner the writer, the more I'm on board. Bonus points if they're dead! I guess it depends on your mood. The other journalism stuff was mostly great and sometimes okay. Yes, give this one a go, why not View all 4 comments.

Sep 14, Lena rated it really liked it Shelves: essays.

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Saunders sharp eye and even sharper wit come across in most all of these essays, though I think his talent is best displayed in the longer travel pieces. His humor is balanced with a good deal of heartfelt emotion when he writes about watching Arab children see snow for the first time in the surreal fairy tale of modern Dubai, and his travels along the US-Mexico border in search of greater understanding of the immigration issue reveal a world far too complex to be explained in a sound bite.

The dream by Brain Dead

The title essay, about the decline of intelligent content in mass media, is particularly spot on. Overall, a very worthwhile and entertaining read. Dec 30, Malbadeen rated it really liked it Shelves: funny. I'd be giving this book 3 stars if not for an essay on forming sentences. In "Thank you, Esther Forbes" Saunders recalls his emerging love for sentences formed with deliberation and the effects of honest brevity.

Possibly the ugliest book cover ever created! Mar 10, Wesley rated it did not like it. This is, hands down, the worst book of essays that I have ever read. The discussion was so perfunctory and the style such poorly adapted Vonnegut that I felt insulted that I was even expected to finish it which I did, assuming that, surely, it had to get better.

What's doubly frustrating is that I dove into this one with high hopes. I mean, c'mon, Saunders is often mentioned in the same breath as David Foster Wallace who I'd comfortably assert is one of the best essayists of his generation. A This is, hands down, the worst book of essays that I have ever read. As it turns out, these comparisons are a crime. Let's do a simple compare and contrast. Seriously, super simple - two sentences from each. One sentence from Saunders' title essay on television "The Braindead Megaphone" - really, that's your title?


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  8. Fiction" which I hold as fairly instrumental to contextualizing whatever you want to call the modern post post-modern fiction movement. Saunders: "But I think we're in an hour of special danger, if only because our technology has become so loud, slick, and seductive, it's powers of self-critique so insufficient and glacial.

    The era of the jackboot is over: the forces that come for our decency, humor, and freedom will be extolling, in beautiful voices, the virtue of decency, humor, and freedom. Bush thrown in for good measure. Not exactly novel suggestions. However, I will say this: the Saunders quote sounds like the kind of reductive silliness that I used to spout off after watching Fight Club too many times during my junior year of high school.

    The Wallace quote, on the other hand, sounds like part of an intriguing discussion on modern identity under the complicated social forces created by TV. I'm not sure what makes me angrier - how lousy Saunders' book is or his greatly inflated reputation. I do know that if I were John and Catherine, I would ask for a refund. Maybe nonfiction just isn't his thing. Oct 12, Shannon rated it it was ok. I thought this collection was going to kick so much ass, because the first story was so witty and in-your-face. The rest, however The author, ironically, didn't seem to acknowledge his privilege and Western bias that he seemed to be so aware of, initially.

    A fairly simple sentiment; but the implications of wh I thought this collection was going to kick so much ass, because the first story was so witty and in-your-face.

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