Tenth of December

Tenth of December. Stories. George Saunders. New York: Random House. 2013

The real diving

Please take a breath: let us plunge into facts that everybody knows. Take them as if they were new, strange, uncommon…

I suggest you have a look on this successful book and at the same time, you bring some Black Mirror episodes back to your mind. The experiment will surprise you. They have so much in common you could not tell.

That future life told by means of contemporary trouble. That extreme situations depicted with the colours of our daily routine. That terrible stuff, so near from us.

I have not finished the whole collection yet, but in order to feed this post, I will tell you something about one story called «Puppy»:

Broken in two different points of view, George Saunders «Puppy» reaches the mood of the reader, by showing how two different mothers behave and love their two problem children.

A third person narrator describes each character’s thought, both linked by a misunderstood meaning of motherhood and breeding. On one hand, there is Marie; she travels with her two kids to adopt a dog after reading Callie’s announcement. On the other hand is Callie, the mother of a troubled mind boy who constantly escapes and who is kept chained at a tree in the backyard; she desperately tries to find a home for her little dog which otherwise, will be killed by her husband. Both women give glimpses of their childhood and old memories to the reader: the former idealises her current situation and the last just seeks for a escape.

The text goes straight to reader’s mind like a sort of cinematic cross-cut. It is an easy, clear and passionate story that leaves a sense of discomfort by the end.

And something aims me to conclude that this is going to be the dominant until the end of the book.

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