This is a truly bizarre collection of stories, most of which I would call sci-fi or speculative fiction. I was sucked right in by the very first story, which consists of a letter from a customer service person responding to a complaint letter about the "I CAN SPEAK" product. This product goes over your baby's head and interacts with you verbally in ways your baby cannot due to their young age. Very strange idea! The entire focus of the stories is on the American consumer culture, the culture of nonstop 24/7 persuasion and marketing. Saunders takes it to some real extremes, as in the story called "My Flamboyant Grandson" in which a certain amount of marketing input must be consumed or a person gets in trouble for being unpatriotic. The story called "Jon" was also compelling, about teens living together in isolation from the rest of the world, living on commercials as their only source of input or entertainment. There were certainly some stories I liked more than others, but all in all a very unusual collection, terribly creative.
In 2006, the author was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" for "bringing to contemporary American fiction a sense of humor, pathos, and literary style all his own." Hard to argue with that :) I'm going to check out more of his writing.
check out my review at http://www.gilwilson.com
but i'll give you the gist of it now...i recommend not putting out any money for this book. I found parts of it boring.