I really enjoyed this book, the first full-length novel by short story author George Saunders. The story, set in a graveyard, follows the events leading up to, at the time of, and after the death of Abraham Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son Willie. It blends real accounts from historical documents with invented ones, which together paint an engaging picture of the time period.
I decided to listen to the audiobook version upon hearing that it boasted an incredible 166 narrators, most of them playing ghosts in the graveyard where Willie resides. Keeping tabs on such a large cast was a bit of a head spin at first, and the fun of guessing which celebrity was voicing which character could be distracting at times. Once I settled into the story however, the audiobook offered a very entertaining, almost cinematic, experience. The author captured the seriousness, sadness, and pain of the story and characters, while at the same time offering up humor, insight, and laugh-out-loud material.