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No.
23


 
Brilliant,
Confusing,
Interesting

12 reviews

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel
by George Saunders

Published: 2017-02-14
Hardcover : 368 pages
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107 clubs reading this now
14 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 12 members
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Introduction

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. What is the bardo, and how does it function in George Saunder's book? In what way does the bardo apply to those who are living as well as the dead?

2. Talk about the various denizens of the cemetery, the ghosts who narrate and chatter among themselves. Which ghost stories did you find particularly engaging…funny…moving…sad…maybe even irritable? Were you disoriented, even put off, by the multiplicity of voices, or were you able to maintain your footing? Was there a point at which the ghosts took on a "life" of their own...where their actions developed into a cohesive plot?

3. Follow-up to Question 2: All of the ghosts seem to hang on to their anger and resentments, desires and feelings—the emotions they felt during their lives?

4. Why are the ghosts so stunned by Lincoln's cradling his son in his arms. What does that signify to the ghosts?

5. What does Lincoln come to understand, through his own personal loss, about the carnage of the war and the cost in lives and misery for an entire nation?

6. Talk about the two old codgers, Hans Vollman and Roger Bevins III. Would you consider them the "heroes" of the novel? Why are they so eager to have Will leave the cemetery. Where do they want him to go? What will happen should he "tarry"?

7. Why is the Reverend, unlike all the other spirits, willing to admit he is dead? And why is he convinced he will be excluded from heaven?

8. In what way does the cemetery reflect the class structure of the 19th Century? What do you make of the Rev. Thomas's explanation: "It is not about wealth. It is about comportment. It is about, let us say, being 'wealthy in spirit.'" Who among the spirits, if any of them, are "wealthy in spirit"?

9. Although the preponderant mood of the novel is dark, there is also a fair amount of hilarity. Can you you point to some passages/episodes that you found particularly funny? The bachelor ghosts, for instance?

Questions by LitLovers

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Bevstein (see profile) 09/09/20

 
by bwolter (see profile) 03/26/20

 
  "Put it back on the shelf!"by bookmobile (see profile) 02/28/20

This book is painstakingly mind numbing. It should be titled Lincoln in the Boredom.

 
  "Don't Pick it Up!"by margharg (see profile) 04/13/19

This book came highly recommended by a friend, but we must have very different tastes in books. I knew it was different doing into it, and I thought it was a good concept, but I just couldn't get into... (read more)

 
by 2thnurse (see profile) 03/23/19

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