In his debut novel, once more Saunders’ irreverent, sporadic and moving style is put masterfully to use to capture a powerful narrative. Composed of dozens of voices, from which history merges with fiction in a mesmerising whole, Lincoln in the Bardo is an entirely singular novel, certainly the first of its kind, and one which will long be remembered.
The novel takes place over a single night, telling the tale of President Lincoln mourning the recent death of his young son. Within the cemetery where his son is laid to rest, scores of the damned gather to witness this recent bereavement, lending their own sorry, pained tales. From these series of chaotic yet truly telling voices emerges a profound take on life after death, where even the most damned sinners might find some solace in humanity. Saunders considers those who are remembered, those who are forgotten, and the nature of humanity in its remembrance of those it holds dear.
Balancing his tale of life and death in the lost world of innate purgatory, Saunders considers mankind’s sins, it’s aspirations and it’s woes, and where this leaves those who fall short. Both in life and in death.
Length: 343 (Bloomsbury)
Overall Rating: 5 stars
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