Lincoln in the Bardo ~ George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo

Rating: 2/5

I listened to this book on audio, and I have to say, it was weird. I felt like I had no idea what was going on the entire time despite reading the synopsis and hearing someone describe it. That being said, the premise was definitely intriguing.

February 1862, and President Lincoln’s son Willie is dying. We get snippets from over a hundred different characters and sources, giving information about what Lincoln is doing, what his son is doing, and about the other characters present. Bardo is a Tibetan Buddhist state of existence between death and rebirth. I believe the premise is that many of the characters are existing with Willie in this in-between state, called the Bardo.

I had a really hard time with this book, and it may be because historical fiction is not my strong suit, or because audio books are not my strong suit, and definitely had something to do with the fact that there were so many voices it was hard to keep the story straight. I definitely appreciate the unique style, and feel as though somebody who liked audiobooks and historical fiction would probably really enjoy it. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me and I didn’t feel connected to the plot or the characters at all.


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