Have you read the short fiction of George Saunders? If not, you really need to stop what you’re doing right now and buy Pastoralia. One of the best and most original voices in contemporary fiction, nobody combines surreal comedy laced with gut-punching pathos quite like him. Pastoralia features my favorite story of his, “Sea Oak,” which tells the story of a male stripper who’s forced to deal with the death of his put-upon aunt and then, naturally, her reanimation as a corpse ready to take control of her life, finally.
You also may be interested in his earlier collection CivilWarLand in Bad Decline; that title story was adapted into a screenplay for Ben Stiller by Community’s Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, but it never ended up being made, tragically. Maybe someday! But until then you can still read Saunders’ stories and have your mind blown by them.
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