[ Reading ] ➶ The Braindead Megaphone Author George Saunders – Thomashillier.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Braindead Megaphone

  1. says:

    There is a nice confluence between this book and DFW s Consider the Lobster in particular the last of Wallace s essays, which is on American talk radio, segues seamlessly into the Saunders first essay, The Braindead Megaphone , which is as good an essay on the dumbing influence of mainstream media as I ve ever read Oh, and it s fucking hilarious, which when you think about it, why shouldn t it be So I had never read GS before, neither his fiction nor non fiction, and DFW is a hard act to follow, let me tell you But they write with a similar style, both tending to write about writing what you are now reading and often openly discussing the difficulties of being lucid, which paradoxically makes for lucid writing.Saunders is less brainy , if you want to call it that Whereas DFW is nervous in the high strung neurotic sense and is constantly worried about seeming pretentious, which itself is a kind of pretension, GS is comfortable in his skin, his open mindedness, pacifism, and general wonder in the world.The gems for me were the title essay, the essays on writing namely Thank You, Esther Forbes , Mr Vonnegut in Sumatra , and to a lesser extent gem wise, not writing subject wise The Perfect Gerbil and his introduction to Huck Finn that s got to stroke the ego, eh , which he or less steals pay...


  2. says:

    Uomini Col Megafono Immaginate una festa Gli ospiti di tutti i ceti sociali, non persone qualsiasi Conoscono il mondo, hanno vissuto, sofferto, possiedono delle attivit , vantano solide competenze Stanno affrontando argomenti che li interessano, scambiandosi sottili correzioni Vengono a galla certe preoccupazioni nascoste che oh, meno male, che bello vengono confermate, condivise, alleviate da chi ci gi passato.A un certo punto entra un uomo col megafono Non l ospite pi intelligente della festa, n il pi navigato, e nemmeno quello che si esprime meglio.Per ha il megafono.Mettiamo che inizi a parlare di quanto ami le mattine di primavera Cosa succeder Beh, gli altri si gireranno ad ascoltare Sarebbe difficile evitarlo, anche per un fatto di educazione E poco dopo gli ospiti, divisi in gruppetti, potrebbero trovarsi a parlare delle mattine di primavera O meglio, della validit delle sue idee sulle mattine di primavera.Alcuni gli daranno ragione, altri torto, ma siccome l Uomo Col Megafono fa un gran baccano, cominceranno a reagire ai suoi stimoli, cambieranno argomento con lui, se user continuamente l espressione in fin dei conti cominceranno a usarla anche loro, se butter che il lato ovest della sala ...


  3. says:

    Based on this collection, George Saunders joins David Foster Wallace on the bench of terrifically smart writers I admire tremendously and who seem like wonderful, funny, mensch like people this sentence needs a but, so here it is BUT, whose very cleverness can sometimes sabotage their writing Ultimately, an excess of cleverness marred In Persuasion Nation for me, and the same is true of this collection There are some terrific pieces the title essay, in particular, is a tour de force I loved his analysis of the Barthelme story and the essay on Twain The piece on Dubai and Thought Experiment were great, but I think both have been anthologized previously, as I d read each already Although Buddha Boy was well written, the subject matter didn t interest me all that much A Survey of the Literature , Ask the Optimist and Manifesto were considerably less successful, each bogging down in its own cleverness long before reaching a merciful end So, this collect...


  4. says:

    Truth be told, I d like to give the book 4.65 stars but oh my Jesus, George has done it again And by done it I mean been funny not compiled his previously published non fiction into one book cause then again would have to read for the first time, and that s not what I wanted to say No matter Still so funny, is my point If read in one go the humor might, on occasion, seem overbearing essays like Ask the Optimist or Woof, I thought, were somewhat stale or, dare I say it, trite But when he turns his perceptively comedic eye on the real world Dubai, Brownsville Texas, crappy American cul...


  5. says:

    This book is like a summary of how I feel about George Saunders sometimes hilarious, insightful, moving, surprising, and sometimes just gimmicky and self indulgent and annoying A few of the essays the Dubai one, the dog one are pretty great A lot of them are okay A few are awful, especially the ones that are supposed to be about some idea or issue but are really just all about how clever the author is Overall, a disappointment, but worth reading if you re willing to skip around I still love...


  6. says:

    One of those mixed bag books you get when you re a hot commodity P Can we pull together enough assorted stuff you wrote to make a spine thick enough to print your name on it Great chaching chaching The essays on writing were interesting Great to get insight into Saunders style and his teaching method.It seems to me that Saunders style is but one way of approaching writing Whenever someone seems so singularly brilliant, in any field, I forget they re just one person who doesn t possess all the answers You can perfect the Barthelme Vonnegut Saunders writing mode, for example, but it would just be one writing mode Personally, when I read the stories of these guys, I picture everyone as something like a tiny cartoon character They don t feel like real people Whereas something like David Foster Wallace even Bret Easton Ellis style maximalism makes everything seem hyperre...


  7. says:

    This collection of essays from George Saunders covers a wide range of territory, discussing everything from the author s experiences visiting the Buddha Boy of Nepal to an analysis of Twain s Huckleberry Finn Saunders sharp eye and even sharper wit come across in most all of these essays, though I think his talent is best displayed in the longer travel pieces His humor is balanced with a good deal of heartfelt emotion when he writes about watching Arab children see snow for the first time in the sur...


  8. says:

    I d be giving this book 3 stars if not for an essay on forming sentences In Thank you, Esther Forbes Saunders recalls his emerging love for sentences formed with deliberation and the effects of honest brevity Wow and wow because if I ever find a guy that can recall the moment he fell in love with the structure of a sentence, I ll do anything and everything within my means to make him love me and if he doesn t...


  9. says:

    This is, hands down, the worst book of essays that I have ever read The discussion was so perfunctory and the style such poorly adapted Vonnegut that I felt insulted that I was even expected to finish it which I did, assuming that, surely, it had to get better.What s doubly frustrating is that I dove into this one with high hopes I mean, c mon, Saunders is often mentioned in the same breath as David Foster Wallace who I d comfortably assert is one of the best essayists of his generation As it turns out, these comparisons are a crime Let s do a simple compare and contrast Seriously, super simple two sentences from each One sentence from Saunders title essay on television The Braindead Megaphone really, that s your title , you re not even trying dude and one from Wallace s 93 expose on TV, E Unibus Pluram Television and U.S Fiction which I hold as fairly instrumental to contextualizing whatever you want to call the modern post post modern fiction movement.Saunders But I think we re in an hour of special danger, if only because our technology has become so loud, slick, and seductive, it s powers of self critique so insufficient and glacial The era of the jackboot is over the forces that come for our decency, humor, and freedom will be extolling, in beautiful voices, the virtue of d...


  10. says:

    I thought this collection was going to kick so much ass, because the first story was so witty and in your face The rest, however not so great The author, ironically, didn t seem to acknowledge his privilege and Western bias that he seemed to be so aware of, initially Basically, he was saying, the braindead megaphone means that whoever has the loudest voice, is most interesting able to get people to listen to them, gets heard the most A fairly simple sentiment but the implications of which I believe have important and troubling political and social effects However, completely oblivious, he goes on to talk about how GQ paid him to like stay in seriously this fucking mansion hotel in the Middle East, which exists solely, apparently, to be lavish and over the top and to cater towards the rich That story was just him describing all the awesome hings in the hotel and talking about some of the poor not ridiculously rich people who d come by and look at it in awe but weren t able to afford to stay there, obviously And then he complained a lot b c there was some problem with the payment thing for his stay as I said, he was having it all paid for him, so he could write this report about it, I guess and he just came across as a whiny, ungrateful little twat There is an account about the boy...


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The Braindead Megaphone Saunders Trains His Eye On The Real World Rather Than The Fictional For The First Time, Shows That It Too Is Brimmming With Wonderful, Marvellous Strangeness, Whether It Be In The Surreal Opulence Of Dubai, The Mind Bending Self Denial Of The Buddha Boy Of Nepal, Or Even The Seemingly Mundane Transactions Of Everyday American Life.