Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders
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Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Audiobook by George Saunders is the first full-length novel from the author. It is based on the true story of death of Willie Lincoln- the son of US President Abraham Lincoln- at the age of 11 years. The novel opens in bardo which is the intermediary stage between life and afterlife. Willie materializes in the bardo and is greeted by Hans Vallmon- a deceased printer who died at the age of 46 years due to a falling support beam- and Roger Bevins- a young man who committed suicide.
Everyone Willie meets in the bardo is dead and is buried in the same cemetery as him. They believe that they are not dead but sick. Vollman and Bevins urge Willie to pass on to the next stage of afterlife, as they know that bardo is not a good place to remain in especially for young people. They remember a young woman, Elise Traynor who stayed in the bardo for too long and was trapped there forever.
Before Willie decides to pass on to the next stage, his father arrives in the mausoleum where his body is kept. His father hugs him and speaks to it before leaving. This gives Willie and others in the bardo hope that he may be able to return to his previous stage with the help of his father. How Willie goes through all this and whether he successfully passes to the next stage of afterlife is the remainder of the plot.
Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Audiobook by George Saunders received critical acclaim and rave reviews from the critics. It won the 2017 Man Booker Prize. It was also on the New York Times Bestseller list. The author has portrayed the after-effects of his son’s loss on Abraham Lincoln.
The sections where he mourns his loss burdened with the affairs of the state have been beautifully depicted. The author has done a fine job with an off-beat subject. The novel will provide the readers insights into afterlife. It is a unique work by the author and is a must-read for literary fans.