Today's most celebrated American novelist

The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body.

Lincoln in the Bardo
By George Saunders

What bloggers and reviewers are saying......

Saunders’s command of the more fantastical elements – sometimes mournful, sometimes bawdy, always riotously animated.

The narrating trio – Bevins, Vollman and the Reverend Early – make it their business to save Willie from this appalling fate, and much of the action centres on their attempts to influence Lincoln to let his son go.

Picture, as a backdrop, one of those primitively drawn 19th-century mourning paintings with rickety white gravestones and age-worn monuments standing under the faded green canopy of a couple of delicately sketched trees. 

This is not a book to be devoured voraciously – it doesn’t allow for it. Like delicate finger-food, the bite-sized pieces are to be savoured individually.