Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 08/02/2018
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Bookseller Reviews

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Lincoln in the Bardo
Genuinely funny and poignant by turns
This was such a funny, quirky and poignant book that really took me by surprise. It tells the story of Willie Lincoln, son of Abraham, who dies of Typhoid ... READ MORE
Laura at Harrogate


At the dawn of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln nurses a very private grief. 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. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain: electric, hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm - called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo - and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul. Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders' inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Inventing an exhilarating new form, Saunders confirms his status as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices - living and dead, historical and fictional - Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end? Arguably the best American short story writer of his generation, George Saunder’s mantelpiece must be groaning under the weight of awards. His best-known collections include The Tenth of December, Civilwarland in Bad Decline and Congratulations, by the Way, Some Thoughts on Kindness.

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • ISBN: 9781408871775
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Weight: 298g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

Customer Reviews

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Lincoln in the Bardo
An intriguing and captivating novel
I really enjoyed reading Lincoln in the Bardo which was recommended in my local store; I only read these reviews after I had finished. I appreciate that it... READ MORE
Mary Rice
Lincoln in the Bardo
Lincoln in the Bardo
For his eleventh birthday, William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln was given a pony. He loved that pony so much he rode it around the White House gardens in all w... READ MORE
Erin Britton
Lincoln in the Bardo
Very disappointing
This book is massively overrated. Once I had worked out what was going on (thanks to reading a review here) I was able to get over my initial frustration... READ MORE
Peter MacNaughtan
Lincoln in the Bardo
Easier but not necessary better...
Lincoln in the Bardo is not a book for bedtime. It is unbearably sad filled with poignant cameos. But read it now.
William Glen