Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Summer of Love: George Saunders, “The Barber’s Unhappiness”


This week we’re discussing the George Saunders story, “The Barber’s Unhappiness,” about a sad-sack guy with jacked-up toes who wants companionship but can’t seem to get out of his own way. We consider the story’s lessons about love and superficiality, and the line between generous and mean-spirited humor.

Also this week, we discuss the origins of computer dating, and how online dating just gives people new ways to be shallow. Plus America’s favorite wedding songs! And Tom talks about a woman he dated who isn’t his wife!

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we discussed on this week’s show. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we are slowly getting better about posting candid studio photos and links to stuff we’ve talked about on the show.

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Download Summer of Love #2 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Summer of Love: George Saunders, “The Barber’s Unhappiness”

  1. This episode made me realize I never got around to reading anything by Saunders.

  2. I started with Pastoralia and ended up canceling plans to just read the book straight through in a night. Nothing else I’ve read of his has matched that feeling for me, but then again, it would be hard for a 3rd book to have that feeling of discovery.

    I love his writing less now than I did in grad school. But that’s natural, I think.

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