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I loved Kurt so I tried to love his books, too.
November 3, 2010 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Mr. Vonnegut talked about my dad a lot and put him into a lot of his books. Sometimes he was Dad, and sometimes he was just a character Mr. Vonnegut made up. So what I would say to any of you who are wondering is this: My dad was what people called a real character, which always made us laugh because it was so literally true owing to his association with a famous fiction writer. He could also get pretty obnoxious. But he was a good man. And he definitely wasn’t crazy. At least not until the brain tumor.

Kurt Vonnegut Didn't Know Doodly-Squat About Writing: Finally, Literary Analysis Worth Reading by Bernard V. O'Hare, with an introduction by Meghan O'Hare.
posted by shakespeherian (49 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just when I thought I was the only person on Earth who was bothered by Vonnegut in this way... I think O'Hare shows more humanity in his diatribe than Vonnegut did in his entire output.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:06 AM on November 3, 2010


Was there actually a real Bernard V. O'Hare? I always assumed there was, but considering this whole thing was written by someone named Marsha Koretzky, I'm not entirely sure anymore.

Still, a good piece. I would've enjoyed it more without all the annoying footnotes from the daughter, but still a very nice read. Thanks.
posted by JimBennett at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2010


I love Vonnegut, but I loved this too.

Just to be clear: This piece was written by Marsha Koretzky; Bernard V. O'Hare and his daughter Meghan are her fictional characters.
posted by Zozo at 8:18 AM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


On posting: Yes, I did not love the footnotes so much. They feel like timidity on the part of the author, like she didn't quite have the nerve to let Bernard's essay stand on its own—wholly unwarranted, since it's a terrific piece, and would be even stronger without the ostentatiously pulled punches.
posted by Zozo at 8:20 AM on November 3, 2010


The footnotes are part of the "sly tribute" - lots of Vonnegut's stories use the same technique.
posted by cnanderson at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2010


That's odd. This article says Bernard V. O'Hare Jr. predeceased Vonnegut.
On preview: Just to be clear: This piece was written by Marsha Koretzky; Bernard V. O'Hare and his daughter Meghan are her fictional characters.
Now I get it. Thanks, Zozo.
posted by Floydd at 8:26 AM on November 3, 2010


This is a pretty good Vonnegut pastiche.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think O'Hare shows more humanity in his diatribe than Vonnegut did in his entire output.

I'd be interested to hear exactly what kind of "humanity" a fictional character, whose exists entirely within a pastiche/homage/imitation of Vonnegut's signature style, can have more of than the human author.

The footnotes are by far the best part here. Without them it'd be a one-note pastiche; with them it's a dialogue on the different ways of reading Vonnegut, his shortcomings and strengths.
posted by RogerB at 8:34 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The footnotes are part of the "sly tribute" - lots of Vonnegut's stories use the same technique.

The difference is, Vonnegut can pull them off.

Some of my early stories are marred by unnecessary footnotes, and it taught me that footnotes, while wonderful when used correctly, are a bitch to get right. I don't think this author did. The daughter's introduction was good (though it made her seem kind of like a ten year old girl, an impression strengthened by the footnotes), the interruptions into the main text were terrible. Especially the final footnote - the end of Bernard's essay was a strong stopping point, but daughter's final point was not.
posted by JimBennett at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


See, to me they felt like an unnecessary sideline—the story of the relationship between Meghan and her father was tender, and tragic, and I would have been happy to read a lot more of it—but in the context of the piece it felt forced, and blunted the point of Bernard's commentary.

What I mean to say is that the dialogue between the charitable and less-charitable readings of Vonnegut already exists: between this essay and the greater body of English literary criticism. The footnotes feel like Koretzky reminding us that her unpopular (but defensible) thesis is Bernard's alone, and that she's as uncritically smitten with Vonnegut as the rest of the world.

I just think it's a shame to backpedal so furiously from such a strong argument. Vonnegut could indeed be kind of a hypocrite. His unpretentious aw-shucksness was itself a kind of pretension. And he sure did lean pretty hard on the same few tropes.

"Oh, but Daddy, he wasn't like that at all!" Nah. Leave it.
posted by Zozo at 8:55 AM on November 3, 2010


Actually, I just flipped through some books and I guess Vonnegut doesn't use actual footnotes all that much - there's lots of metanarrative but it shows up in the main text. So it goes.
posted by cnanderson at 8:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just when I thought I was the only person on Earth who was bothered by Vonnegut in this way... I think O'Hare shows more humanity in his diatribe than Vonnegut did in his entire output.

You're kidding, right? Right?
posted by scratch at 8:59 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Zozo, I don't know what criticism you're reading whose "greater body" is "uncritically smitten" with Vonnegut. Where I come from, "Bernard V. O'Hare"'s list of Vonnegut's shortcomings (like yours), his complaint about the repetition or the simplicity of the characterization, is an utterly familiar one by now; good readers since the '70s have been seeing Vonnegut as a consolatory oversimplifier, a perhaps-too-easy fabulist.

On its own, just putting this complaint in a pastiched character's mouth would be a boring and predictable move — cute, but nothing more; certainly nothing more than Vonnegut himself often did. On the other hand, calling attention to the wilfulness of that simplicity, and to the wilful oversimplification of the charge of oversimplifying itself, as e.g. footnote 2 does — and doing so without insisting that the reader just choose a side in the disagreement — is the beginning of a potentially new, interesting discussion. "Want so much more for" whom? For the characters (including Koretzky's) or for Vonnegut himself, for his work? Or both? This is where the piece leaves all the trite "hack work or great literature?" debates behind.
posted by RogerB at 9:17 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


good readers since the '70s....

...have mostly been people that didn't get labeled as "good readers."
posted by lodurr at 9:53 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just when I thought I was the only person on Earth who was bothered by Vonnegut in this way... I think O'Hare shows more humanity in his diatribe than Vonnegut did in his entire output.

I went through an enthusiastic Vonnegut phase for a few years; couldn't get enough of him. But suddenly, roughly half-way through Cat's Cradle (odd to be reading that one so late in the game but that's just the way the books came to me), I put it down, overwhelmed with a kind of nausea. The guy's pessimism was just so enthusiastic.

This is not to say that I think we should write off all of Vonnegut's work. No way. Too much good, important stuff, that for me, a young reader (wannabe writer) was essential toward opening my mind not just about the craft of writing, but the world itself. But finally, cumulatively, the wry, whimsical despair of so many of his themes was just too much for me. I moved on and have never really looked back.

Now, reading something like this (fact or fiction? it doesn't really matter; that's how Vonnegut would want it), I'm struck by the notion that for those who've experienced one, a war never ends. The violence witnessed, experienced, committed is transformative. No one gets out without a more or less terminal case of PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. This was certainly the case with my dad.

so it goes.
posted by philip-random at 10:14 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, calling attention to the willfulness of that simplicity...is the beginning of a potentially new, interesting discussion.

Not sure I agree with you there RogerB. I don't see this as a "new" discussion put forth by Koretzky - I see this as "nothing more" than what "Vonnegut himself often did". See the apologetic preface to Slaughterhouse-five. Or the many other instances where Vonnegut "jumps out of the story" and engages in a critique of the story itself.

The footnotes are a key part of the homage. If you removed them, the stylistic similarity to Vonnegut's work would be diminished. It would then be a piece about Vonnegut as opposed to a piece that attempts to be Vonnegut.

As to whether or not Koretzky "pulls it off" - it's tough to say because in an imitation any criticism can be deflected to the original source material. Did you think the daughter's point of view was simplistic and heavy handed? Well, then one could argue that that was a conscious choice by Koretzky because Vonnegut narrators were simplistic and heavy handed.

It sure "sounded" like Vonnegut in my mind's ear.
posted by cnanderson at 10:19 AM on November 3, 2010


Not sure I agree with you there RogerB. I don't see this as a "new" discussion put forth by Koretzky - I see this as "nothing more" than what "Vonnegut himself often did". See the apologetic preface to Slaughterhouse-five. Or the many other instances where Vonnegut "jumps out of the story" and engages in a critique of the story itself.

Yeah, likewise. I suspect that, if anything, this is a critique of elevating Vonnegut to some sort of post-modern hippie figurehead when the truth was both more simple and more complicated than that. As writers--and people, I think--usually are. For me, the daughter's protestations via footnote only emphasize that--the willful misreading and misappropriation of someone else's themes to fit what you're trying to say personally or spiritually or academically. "God, I can't believe I even have to explain this," and all of that, but it's true, isn't it? I don't know. I really enjoyed this piece.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:30 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. I felt the fictional character of Bernard's daughter was well-written, and hoped for something startling and compelling in the "father's" brain-afflicted ramblings. But the whole thing fell apart for me, in terms of believability, when all the maudlin recollections about his daughter and his wife started to surface in the narrative. It just seemed to get really heavy-handed there at the end.

Still, literature being what it is these days, I'm just glad this wasn't published through Twitter, in 140-character entries.
posted by misha at 10:33 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sheesh, everyone's a critic of self-reflexive postmodern pastiche intertextural critique.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


The footnotes are a key part of the homage. If you removed them, the stylistic similarity to Vonnegut's work would be diminished.

Without entirely conceding your point, I really do feel that the piece would be more effective without them—and if that means being less accurate a pastiche, well, I could live with that.

Even so, I truly loved the piece. I'm nitpicking because it's MetaFilter and because it's a slow morning at work, and because "Good-bye, my friend, good-bye, good-bye. goddamnn you for leaving me here without you" was such an overwhelming dose of pure naked grief that it pushed me back from the screen a little bit, the kind of full-body blow I'm always looking for from an author, and because seeing the little superscripted number hanging there diminished it, like a radio announcer talking over the end of a really good song.

Then again, pulling the rug out from under the reader's predictable emotional reaction is a pretty thing to do. So I don't even know.
posted by Zozo at 10:45 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've never read any Vonnegut. Why should I, and where should I start?

Be specific. I know the typical "it's great!" stuff. What's the real literary value in it, other than "I read this when I was younger and it changed the way I think about things!" Especially interested in older readers who discovered him later. Most people I've heard talk about KV have that sort of teenage breathless enthusiasm that comes with fans of LotR.

Not a fighty comment, and not meant to threadshit. Take the time to honestly and thoughtfully share why you love something with me, so I can love it, too. =)
posted by Eideteker at 10:52 AM on November 3, 2010


...is a pretty Vonnegut thing to do. Good god.
posted by Zozo at 10:53 AM on November 3, 2010


Why should you? Because, stylistically, Vonnegut is one of the best writers of his generation.

Where should you start? Slaughterhouse-Five, then Cat's Cradle.
posted by JimBennett at 11:09 AM on November 3, 2010


Just when I thought I was the only person on Earth who was bothered by Vonnegut in this way...

In what respect, overeducated_alligator?
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:21 AM on November 3, 2010


Take the time to honestly and thoughtfully share why you love something with me, so I can love it, too. =)

Written by me a few years ago:
One of my favorite writers, who has influenced my own writing immeasurably over the years. His combination of dark humor, idealism, suspicion of authority, and willingness to deal with the fantastical in everyday life (although he has distanced himself from the SF label in the past) line up with my own inclinations in a lot of ways, not to mention the keen sense of life in the clutches of time (or not, as the case may be). Absolutely among the greatest of American writers. Perhaps the reincarnation of Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe in one person.
Whenever I have writer's block, or haven't been reading for a while, I grab a random Vonnegut book with the knowlege that I will soon either lose the block or remember the need of reading.
So there's that. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:25 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I picked Slaughterhouse Five in high school as a summer reading assignment because I thought it was a horror novel. It was, but not in the way that I expected. It was pretty much my the root cause of my political awakening and set me on the path toward being an anti-war liberal.
posted by empath at 11:31 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never read any Vonnegut. Why should I, and where should I start?

I like (most of Vonnegut) because he's sort of like a cheekier Philip K. Dick. Dickish (heh) conceptually--though Vonnegut is kind of looked as "like a SF writer, but better!" by a lot of non-SF fans, he is conceptually undoubtedly a SF writer in almost all of his books, and a pretty good one, at that. But he layers that beneath a very strong voice. It's self-referential and wry and sometimes sad. I'd say that your enjoyment pretty much hinges on whether you can get behind that voice. My favorites are probably Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions--Slaughterhouse Five and Mother Night are okay, I guess, but I think Sirens gives you a better sense of what he's capable of in terms of SF ideas and Breakfast, a better sense of his voice and overarching themes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:35 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, I thought that was really good. It captured elements of Vonnegut's style and I found it affecting. I was getting genuinely angry at the sheer injustice of O'Hare's bitter, grief-and-tumour-fuelled myopia and I felt genuinely moved by the ending. In my book, that's good writing.
posted by Decani at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2010


What's the real literary value in it, other than "I read this when I was younger and it changed the way I think about things!" Especially interested in older readers who discovered him later.

Oh, and in Breakfast of Champions, there are funny pictures--of an asshole, and a wide-open beaver. I don't know if that's "real literary value," but I think it's awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:40 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


In what respect, overeducated_alligator?

Just to note, I didn't know this was supposed to be fictional, since I just took it at its word that there was a real person upon whom Vonnegut based his characters. Even so, the observations ring true to me.

phillip_random identifies something like "pessimism." The narrator of this piece is irritated by the disconnection between Vonnegut's wry cynicism and his supposed humanitarian ethics. That's precisely what bugs me about Vonnegut, particularly his attitude as he got older. I have a hard time taking Vonnegut at his word on heartfelt matters, when his supercilious loathing comes through at other times. I don't blame the man for it, but he's so universally worshiped that it's refreshing to see some sort of critique. When you compare him to, say, (just pulling out a random name of someone vaguely similar) G.K. Chesterton, Chesterton says he loves humanity and his writing shows it.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:43 AM on November 3, 2010


I've never read any Vonnegut. Why should I, and where should I start?
posted by Eideteker


"This is the only story of mine whose moral I know. I don't think it's a marvelous moral, I just happen to know what it is..."

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

You should read Mother Night. I don't know if you should read it first, but you should read it. Vonnegut's use of metafiction and penchant for mining the absurdly realistic are wonderful, but it's also just a damn good story. Vonnegut says more about the human condition in a witty aside than most writers manage in their entire output.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:44 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's precisely what bugs me about Vonnegut, particularly his attitude as he got older. I have a hard time taking Vonnegut at his word on heartfelt matters, when his supercilious loathing comes through at other times.

It's not loathing, IMO. Vonnegut sees that, no matter how much we might like to avoid acknowledging it, we all have assholes, and they all stink as much as anybody else's, and that's an indisputable fact of being human--but that doesn't stop him from loving humanity and hoping individual humans don't suffer unnecessarily in life. There's nothing supercilious about that, is there? Vonnegut witnessed the Dresden bombings as a POW in WWII. He knew good and damn well in a more visceral and immediate way than many of us what nasty little buggers human beings can be and often are, but he still loved humanity. How is that a pessimistic or supercilious attitude? It's about as sophisticated and defiantly hopeful an attitude as I can imagine.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Vonnegut witnessed the Dresden bombings as a POW in WWII. He knew good and damn well in a more visceral and immediate way than many of us what nasty little buggers human beings can be and often are, but he still loved humanity. How is that a pessimistic or supercilious attitude?

I guess my point is that I don't think he ever fully recovered from what he experienced at Dresden. Like my dad (who I referenced above), Vonnegut's war experience killed a part of him. There's nothing special about this. That's what war, viscerally experienced, does. It kills everybody involved, at least in part (combatants, non-combatants, anyone who gets a dose of it, close-up).

So my frustration, over time, with Vonnegut, is probably more a frustration with myself, for committing to him so much, and then realizing, holy shit, there's a void in this guy that I can't get across. That is, I loved his stuff. I wanted to read every word, but at some point, I just got this overwhelming feeling of ENOUGH. He's like that wise old uncle who you loved, loved, loved, and hung on his every word ... but at some point you saw him drunk, in a pit of despair, no help at all.

so it goes.
posted by philip-random at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read it without reading the blurb very closely, and did not get very far in before thinking it was a hoax - what are the chances that both Meghan and Bernard write almost exactly like KV?

But then I got to the end of "Bernard's" piece, and thought, as I tried to look stoic while getting misty eyed at work, hoax or not, it was damn good.

But when I read the final footnote, I was all "Another flashback? What is this, Family Guy?"
posted by Sparx at 1:35 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never read any Vonnegut. Why should I, and where should I start?

Not sure that you should. He's a young person's writer. I have my doubts he'll last. A bit gimmicky.

But- others love him, so YMMV
posted by IndigoJones at 1:44 PM on November 3, 2010


Other people have answered the "where should you start" question, so I'll leave that to them. I wanted to address this part:

I know the typical "it's great!" stuff. What's the real literary value in it, other than "I read this when I was younger and it changed the way I think about things!"

I went through a Vonnegut phase in high school, read maybe half a dozen of his novels, and thought they were generally good, but I moved on to other things, didn't really think of him in an "OMG best writer ever!" way. It was actually MetaFilter which brought me back to Vonnegut in my thirties, as his late-in-life non-fiction essays would be posted here from time to time, and I gained a new appreciation for him through those—very bitter, and raw, and honest.

A little over a year ago I learned of plans for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (mentioned in the preface of the linked piece) here in Indianapolis and became tangentially involved. By which I mean I've supported the KVML financially and have been participating in the library's monthly Vonnegut book club, but I'm not involved in the planning/organization of the library. But because of the book club, I've read several of Vonnegut's works over the past year. Some which I had read in my teens and remembered relatively well (Slaughter-House Five, Cat's Cradle), some which I had read and didn't really remember (Player Piano, Sirens of Titan), and some which I had never previously read (Jailbird, Mother Night, the latter of which is my new favorite). You know what? I find much of his work more meaningful now, in my late thirties, than I did when I was a teenager. And our book club has regulars who are decades older than I am.

But you asked for specifics. There's two themes that run through most if not all of Vonnegut's work which really draw me to it (and how much of this is "really there" and how much is me projecting my own values, I'm not entirely sure, but this is what I get out of it all the same):

1. Life is really wonderful and life is really shitty, very often at the same time. And Vonnegut balances those two expertly—neither giving way to the saccharine sentimentality that would result from too much of the "really wonderful" nor to the despair that would result from too much of the "really shitty."

2. That we should be nice to each other and maybe make the shitty parts of life slightly less shitty for each other. Now, that's hardly original to Vonnegut. But what draws me to his work is that he goes on to say: we're all pretty fucked up, in ways large and small, as individuals and as a species. And because we're fucked up, even when we're trying to be nice, very often we fail at making life better for anyone else. But it's important to try to be kind anyway, even if it rarely makes a difference.

As for the piece itself, I liked it overall, and found it a pretty good homage to Vonnegut's style and message, except for the footnotes, which I agree it could have done without. Particularly liked this bit:

So, Kurt, you really thought you could do it, didn’t you? All that self-deprecating shit you said, and you still thought that if you wrote enough books, you could make things better. Well, hah!

which reminded me of a line from Jailbird, which Vonnegut places in the mouth of one of his characters, but I think also represents Vonnegut's own view:

I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out. I am a fool.

Thanks for posting, shakespeherian.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


I only started reading Vonnegut a couple years ago (I'm 26 now) and I love his despair for the human condition. His skewers everything because life is full of flaws, everyone has selfish motives, and sometimes people do really dumb stuff.

However, I feel like he balances that despair with a very wise acceptance, that people are flawed but they're pretty okay overall. His characters may seem simplistic because of Vonnegut's sparse prose and to-the-point descriptions, but he's often empathetic to their selfish ideals, which paints them as complex beings in a very efficient way.

Vonnegut novels are a good balance between cynical and hopeful, with neither emotion being heavy-handed. Cat's Cradle is so far my favorite, but I feel like that varies from person to person.
posted by Turkey Glue at 2:21 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a fondness for Slapstick, which Kurt viewed as his worst novel, and many agree. He makes some interesting speculations about the future of the USA in this book. It was made into an apparently awful Jerry Lewis movie, which I haven't seen.

I thought that the movie version of Slaughterhouse Five was pretty good.
posted by ovvl at 5:41 PM on November 3, 2010


Anecdotal.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 5:42 PM on November 3, 2010


As for the various suggestions above to the effect that Vonnegut's a writer for the young, or too cynical about the human condition, etc., you realize that's exactly how critics viewed Samuel Clemen's work in his day (and for essentially the same reasons). Yet Clemens is still widely regarded as one of America's--if not the world's--greatest authors.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:00 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I agree that his novels are probably the best place to start (Slaughterhouse 5 for the pyrotechnic joy of a master artist at work, Mother Night for the devastating moral heft), let me give a shout out for the book of his that I've read the most often, Palm Sunday, his "autobiographical collage" (Fates Worse than Death, the sequel, is good as well). It isn't as great a work as his best novels, but reading Palm Sunday is like spending time in the company of a loved one. It's wonderful.
posted by Kattullus at 6:40 PM on November 3, 2010


Vonnegut is the ultimate humanist. He acknowleges the the incredible powers of the human mind and heart, and mourns that we let our baser instincts overrule our humanity so much of the time.

Yes, he's sparse and repetitive, but I can't think of any other writer who can be so optimistic and so pessimistic at the same time. He definitely deserves a place in the pantheon of great American writers.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


While we're on the subject of homage/pastiche/parody, I must say that Venus on the Half-Shell is swell. The best book Kurt never wrote.
posted by ovvl at 7:25 PM on November 3, 2010


Many thanks to you all for reading and discussing. It is a tremendous thrill for me to see smart, insightful people talking about my work, and about Vonnegut and empathy and kindness. Your comments about and suggestions for the piece have given me a great deal to think about. They, and you, are greatly appreciated. And thank you, shakesperherian, for the post. --Marsha Koretzky
posted by zky at 10:26 PM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


For Indy-area MeFites, I've listed the library's "sneak peek" on Nov. 12 on MeFiIRL.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:58 AM on November 4, 2010


"Kurt was no romantic. That whole karass thing was a joke. Doing God’s work. I mean, for Christ’s sake, the man was an atheist! And these idiot college kids, what did they learn from Mother Night? That it’s okay to be a Nazi as long as you’re in love? I don’t think so. No, Kurt, you failed again."

I thought the piece demonstrated very well how a lawyer with little tolerance for ambiguity, contradiction, and nuance would not be able to appreciate fully the work of a complicated artist, whose work was full of contradictions.

It was beautifully written.
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:18 PM on November 4, 2010


This is a pretty good Vonnegut pastiche.

I gotta say I loved it. Brought tears to my eyes. The footnotes walked a fine line, but I think they generally worked.

Take the time to honestly and thoughtfully share why you love something with me, so I can love it, too. =)

I could spend a long, long time writing about why I love Kurt Vonnegut, but I won't because it will be too long, no one will care, and I won't be able to stop.

I will only mention my two favorites, heretofore unmentioned: Hocus Pocus and Timequake (in which Bernard is ... dead?!)

I'm don't know any other sci-fi author who has tackled the notion of free will as skillfully as Vonnegut did in Timequake (yes, better than Dick). And Eugene Debs Hartke has to be my favorite Vonnegut character ever.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2010


Co-incidence: TVO's Saturday Night Movie this week is Slaughterhouse Five, Sat Nov 6 2010, 8:00pm EST.
posted by ovvl at 9:45 AM on November 6, 2010


and as movie adaptations of books go, it's well above average.
posted by philip-random at 12:22 PM on November 6, 2010


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