Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vonnegut

A sad thought for me is that the total number of books I can read in a lifetime is smaller than the number of good books that exist. Yet, another sad thought is that someday I'll run out of Kurt Vonnegut books to read. Here's a list of the Vonnegut books I have read—maybe in the order I read them, though I can't be sure.

  1. Player Piano
  2. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  3. Breakfast of Champions
  4. Slaughterhouse-Five
  5. Cat's Cradle
  6. Mother Night

According to Wikipedia's list of his novels, Vonnegut wrote fourteen, leaving me with eight unread.

2 comments:

Josh Wilson said...

Here we go again paralleling the same interests. I just finished listening to Breakfast of Champions on audiobook (yes, I know it has no pictures. :) )

I also listened to Cat's Cradle on audiobook a couple of years ago. I think it brilliant. I read Hocus Pocus not long afterward and it literally left no impression on me. I can't really remember a thing about it.

I have seen the movie of Slaughterhouse-Five but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

My nutshell review of Vonnegut is that he is brilliant at diagnosing the problems of the world, and unfailingly honest. However, he seems to leave little room for hope in his books; offers really no solutions or answers. Unless you count humor itself as the big answer. I don't think that's enough, but it is certainly important.

Also, if you compare a reading of a bleak novel like Breakfast of Champions, which to me seems fairly despairing, with listening to Vonnegut himself talk, you get a different impression. He laughs a lot. I think you see that he finds some reasons for hope in life, though he had so much personal experience of the evils of man and so many personal tragedies, that it is almost inevitable that his perspective would be dark.

Craig Brandenburg said...

Josh— Wow, interesting comment. Thanks!