Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

O!M!G! Listen to this audiobook! I'm just gonna put that right up there at the top of this post, because it's super important. I am serious. Listen to this audiobook.

This is a strange tale - an experimental novel - told mainly by the spirits that inhabit the Washington DC cemetery where Abraham Lincoln's son was temporarily interred upon his death in 1862. It takes place over a very short time period as the living and dead observe the boy's funeral cortege, the family's grief, and the father's late-night cemetery visit to grieve in private.

There are a lot of opinions, stories, and experiences involved in the novel's narrative, and they're each systematically logged and annotated for your reference. Which is where the audiobook's special nature comes in handy. The library bought an audiobook copy especially because I'd read an article about the 166 narrators they used to record it.

The book is incredible and completely engrossing. Even in some of the more strangely told parts of the story, it's fascinating how each voice brings its own perspective to the events: was the moon full, new, or a sliver that night? How to describe the strange angularity of a most famous man?

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