George Saunders is the kind of contemporary writer that reminds you how crappy too many other contemporary writers are. These were marvelous stories - the diction is spot-on, the humor is buoyant and the humanity is consoling. I will admit I preferred [b:Pastoralia|14295|Pastoralia|George Saunders|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348067120s/14295.jpg|4225], but I recommend this collection just as much.
My favorite of these was "Escape from Spiderhead," followed by "Tenth of December." The weakest one for me was also the shortest - "Sticks."