Friday, April 13, 2007

Rest In Peace, Kurt Vonnegut

No doubt you've already heard about Kurt Vonnegut's passing.

If you've never read Vonnegut, it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Artists always want to know if their work will outlast them, so it's a pretty nice-but-belated gift to Mr. Vonnegut.

I'm partial, myself, to Cat's Cradle as well as Slaughterhouse Five, the full title of which is Slaughterhouse Five; or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., a Fourth-Generation German-American Now Living in Easy Circumstances on Cape Cod (and Smoking Too Much) Who, as an American Infantry Scout Hors de Combat, as a Prisoner of War, Witnessed the Fire-Bombing of Dreseden, Germany, the Florence of the Elbe, a Long Time Ago, and Survived to Tell the Tale: This Is a Novel Somewhat in the Telegraphic Schizophrenic Manner of Tales of the Planet Tralfamadore, Where the Flying Saucers Come From.

I think that title alone tells you why I liked him. Try out Mother Night, too. And hey, while you're at it you may as well read Welcome to the Monkey House.

Here's the most recent interview with Vonnegut I could find. And, just for kicks, here's a list from wikipedia where Vonnegut graded his own books in one of his books (Palm Sunday):

Player Piano: B
The Sirens of Titan: A
Mother Night: A
Cat's Cradle: A-plus
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A
Slaughterhouse-Five: A-plus
Welcome to the Monkey House: B-minus
Happy Birthday, Wanda June: D
Breakfast of Champions: C
Slapstick: D
Jailbird: A
Palm Sunday: C

And so it goes.