George Saunders’ hallucinatory take on advertising culture

George Saunders has a fascinating short story called “In Persuasion Nation” in the new issue of Harper’s. It’s not available online, but its perverse take on advertising is worth checking out. The characters in the story exist in what appear to be ultraviolent TV ads—a teenager eats his MacAttack Mac&Cheese rather than help his injured grandmother; a “Slap-of-Wack” bar attacks an orange during an argument about nutrition; a pair of grandparents decapitate their grandson in a fight over a bag of Doritos; Abraham Lincoln is interrupted during the Gettysburg Address by scores of Wendy’s “GrandeChickenBoatCombos” parachuting down from...

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