The Pequod Review:
At his best, George Saunders writes some of the richest and most unique modern short stories, with bizarre characters and off-kilter settings that somehow still retain warmth and affection. This last point is crucial — it would be easy for stories like these to be bleak and cold, but Saunders’s skill is to use his first-rate prose and observational details to create sympathetic characters, with real virtues and flaws, and to infuse his stories with big feelings and emotions.
Pastoralia is by far his best collection, involving a range of oddities: angry ghosts, a bullied young man, and a group of motivational seminar attendees. And in the title story, a pair of actors are hired to perform as cavemen in a Stone Age exhibit at a rural amusement park.