We gave it an A-
To call Saunders’ compellingly strange, funny, and poignant style ”Twin Peaks”-y isn’t to date his singular voice but to place it: The six hypnotically absurd stories in Pastoralia are all slices of life from a lumpy apple pie baked with utterly, mutantly American fruit. Two company workers bicker on the job — which consists of grunting in a pit like cave dwellers. A male stripper is bullied by his visiting dead aunt. All the mean wisdom of a me-first self-actualization seminar boils down to this: ”Don’t crap in my oatmeal.” Saunders (”CivilWarLand in Bad Decline”) cuts into the crust of our national desire to fit in, and out bubbles overflowing national weirdness.