Friday, February 6, 2009


Kurt Vonnegut. I have such an affinity for this author. I've never met him or even contacted him, but I have read---and still have---probably everything he wrote. My fascination with this influential author stretches back to the 60's when I first read SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE.

Vonnegut is a cool, laid-back writer who constructs sentences and paragraphs with expert precision, undermining his characters' behaviours or certain events with an almost sardonic nod to Determinism. After which he will insert his now famous phrase: "so it goes". A phrase that he says is a "combination of simplicity, irony, and rue".

Being an active member of the Humanist Society, he viewed life as Godless and concentrated his focus on compassion, virtue, and other human attributes. But it was his humour and his ever-amusing point of view that enriched his novels. His imagination knew no bounds, and he could easily transport the reader to a moon of Jupiter, or back to the beginning of the human race. He probes, jolts, jokes, and makes fun of all the traits of those human beings who take themselves too seriously-- in a nice way.

If you haven't read Vonnegut, do so. You'll definitely have an enjoyable reading experience. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is a must. It's actually based on his experience in Dresden during WW11, with a bit of Sci-Fi thrown in. BREAKFAST of CHAMPIONS is by far my favourite. It's beyond description but absolutely priceless. DEADEYE DICK, GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER---Read them all!

Oh! I did try to contact Kurt Vonnegut, in 2001. As a rule, I don't do this sort of thing but after much thought wrote up a letter of appreciation for his literary work, and mailed it. The only address I got for him was his publisher who had an office in the Twin Towers. The letter came back. So it goes.

Since we are on this line of now-dead great authors, my next post will be on Norman Mailer who died the past year.

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