Liberation Day: Stories

Books on Tape. Oct. 2022. 7 hrs. ISBN 9780593633052. $76. F
Booker Prize winner Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) returns with astute observations about poverty, inequality, power, class, exploitation, revenge, relationships, love, and disappointment. An all-star cast of narrators including Saunders himself, Tina Fey, Michael McKean, Edi Patterson, Jenny Slate, Jack McBrayer, Melora Hardin, and Stephen Root breathe magic into these nine stories. The varied narrators help listeners shift gears, moving from the stories of marginalized employees forced to entertain the rich with a musical of Custer’s last stand, to an overprotective mom seeking revenge for a slight against her son, and ending with the man who desperately wants to sell his house to the right buyer but just can’t close the deal. Each narrator is perfect for the story they perform as they boost the content and let Saunders’s mastery of satire shine. Ranging from sci-fi to realistic present-day settings, the scope of this work goes from weird to wonderful.
VERDICT There is a reason Saunders is often cited as one of the finest short-story writers working today. Each story in this collection has the potential to be an all-time favorite, and the addition of superstar narrators makes this an essential purchase for all public libraries.
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