Summary

Winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize
In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other, for no one but Saunders could conceive it.
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. "My poor boy, he was too good for this earth," the president says at the time. God has called him home. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic historical framework into a thrilling supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul.
The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders' family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance:
Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN
David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III
Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS
George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS
Miranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORD
Lena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNOR
Ben Stiller as JACK MANDERS vJulianne Moore as JANE ELLIS
Susan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASS
Bradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONE
Bill Hader as EDDIE BARON
Megan Mullally as BETSY BARON
Rainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIER
Jeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCE
Kat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLE
Jeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMER
Mike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIX
Keegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELL
Don Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENS
and Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT
with Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN,
Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND,
and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator.
©2017 George Saunders (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Mrs Karen Southwell on 21-01-18

Don’t buy on audible

This book does not work as an audio book. This is because there are chapters of extracts of newspapers and something called op.sit. that just serves to make the whole thing fragmented and very difficult to follow. I’m sure it makes sense in the written word though.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By bookylady on 01-10-17

Confusing, disappointing, over-hyped

This has to be one of the most over-hyped books I have ever read or listened to. It has had rave reviews and has been shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for fiction but I have to say that I really don't understand why.

It is rambling, confusing, depressing, lacks cohesion and, for a prose work, it is full of quotes and end notes from works of non-fiction. To me, this just made the whole thing a complete mess and very difficult to concentrate upon. Additionally, the huge number of characters (and therefore voices) used in the performance made this narrative really difficult to keep track of. I lost interest after the first half and gave up on it.

Perhaps it would be better to read a hard copy, to help make sense of it all. But if you decide to do that, allow plenty of time. This is a tale that you really need to concentrate hard on and it is certainly not an uplifting story.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nichola on 26-02-18

Perfection, what more need I say except thank you

What more need I say, except thank you to the author and voices. I think I will listen again straight away.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Alex O Moore on 13-02-18

Great book but took study guide to understand at first.

This was a really great book however it took a study guide to understand the first few chapters as it isn’t very clear who is talking. Once you understand and know the voice for the character then it makes for a lot better listening. This is the first fiction book I’ve listened to on Audible as I normally listen to non-fiction but was very impressed and highly recommend this book.

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