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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline - George Saunders This month's post-apocalyptic book club selection...

A slim collection of seven short stories... well, six short stories and one longish story. Individually, every one of these stories was very good. However, in the end, I wound up deducting a star because, well, they're all kind of the same story.

Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that's kind of the point... but it got a bit repetitive.

Civilwarland in Bad Decline - A hapless worker is stuck in his job at a decrepit, near-bankrupt historical theme park recreating the Civil War. The reader gradually realizes that the United States outside the theme park is in even worse shape, as the park is terrorized by violent gangs, and the boss comes up with a solution that might be worse than the problem.

Isabelle - In an America torn by racial violence and brutality, a boy is motivated to care for the disabled daughter of a murderous cop.

The Wavemaker Falters - A hapless worker at a water theme park accidentally causes a boy's death, and, guilt-ridden, faces the consequences of that, while dealing with the quotidian banality of his job.

The 400-pound CEO - A fat guy whom no one respects is a hapless worker at a pest-trapping company that claims to catch-and-release, but really dumps the bodies of the raccoons they trap in a big ol' pit. When his boss attacks an animal-rights activist who's discovered the secret, the worker ends up killing him, and concocts an ill-thought-out plan to take over the company.

Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz - A guilt-ridden, hapless worker at a virtual reality franchise has a failing venture... until he comes up with an ethically terrible and ill-advised plan to boost business.

Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror - Hapless worker with a horrible, violent past. An 'Americana' theme park called 'Our Nation's Bounty.' Visitors that imply that, outside, America has gone to hell. And the demise of the See-Through Cows.

Bounty - A medieval-style theme park where all the hapless workers are mutants. It seems like they've got it pretty bad - but outside, things are even worse: a post-apocalyptic, violent America where people are starving and mutants are likely to be lynched.