To: Richard Kimball
As an artsy fartsy type in college, I devoured Slaughterhouse 5 and Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions. The last piece of his I read was Slapstick. This was the novel that made me realize he wasn't deep, he just had a crappy outlook on life. I never bothered with his stuff after that.
I had a similar experience. I can't remember his first book that I read, but I really liked it. Then I read another, and another, and another ... and then I ran into one of his books where the 'hero' - the last man on earth, in his last dying movements, configures his body so that his fingers will 'flip the bird' skyward... That was definitely a 'WTF' moment for me, and I then realized (I'm a slow learner) that all of his books had a godless aspect about them and - although fairly entertaining - were at their root hollow, and without hope. I've never read anything else by this fellow in the past 30+ years.
Its a shame that his talent was wasted.
posted on 04/15/2007 8:01:33 PM PDT
by El Cid
(Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.)
To: El Cid
Can I have thirdies? I read one of his books in High School (God Bless You, Mr Rosewater), enjoyed it, and read as many books of his I could find afterwards. But by my early 20s, I had no desire to reread any of those books, or to read any new ones of his. It wasn't his view points that offended me-I considered myself pretty liberal until the second WJC term-it's just that his writings after my teenage appreciation phase left me underwhelmed and under impressed . To my mind, he is a writer who, like Anne Rice, E A Poe, H P Lovecraft , and a few others whose names I am surpressing (*cough*.... Ayn Rand , looks around furtively), can best be appreciated and enjoyed by bright undergraduates. Not so much by older people. My apologies to older people who like his works-YMMV-but I think he is mostly a writer for the under-25 set.
PS This particular article reinforces my lack of interest in the man's work-There are so many factual errors-eg, the idiotic and long-debunked "thousands of black people disenfranchised " claim, Hitler as a Christian instead of the Atheist who tried to bring back pagan Wotan worship , etc-all given with that unmistakable "tone" writers use when they're convinced everything they write is brilliant and accurate and accepted without question by all intelligent people that, had I wanted to reread Vonnegut, this article alone would have destroyed the desire.
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