Saturday, April 14, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Dies at 84

Kurt Vonnegut was a very influential writer on me. As a fundamentalist Christian he challenged my black and white view of the world. His vision of a humanity suffering under its own stupidity and ignorance was a powerful alternative to a blind faith.

"If no one's said it yet, I will: Kurt Vonnegut was American literature's finest satirist since Mark Twain. (Whom the mustachioed, frizzy-haired Vonnegut increasingly came to resemble in later years.) Like Twain, he had a merciless eye for those aspects of American life (and human nature) that we're quickest to bury under layers of politeness, particularly our quickness to resort to violence. Like Twain, he progressed from laugh-out-loud funny to ruefully bitter as he aged. By the end of his 84 years, Vonnegut was hoping for a spectacular, suicidal death, like a plane crash into Mt. Kilimanjaro. But death came to him in more mundane fashion yesterday, as he succumbed to brain injuries suffered in a recent fall at his Manhattan home. Vonnegut would have been the first to appreciate the irony; he probably would have greeted it with a sigh: "So it goes."" From

"My feeling from talking to readers and friends is that many people are beginning to despair. Do you think that we’ve lost reason to hope?

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka “Christians,” and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or “PPs.”"

Player Piano

Sirens of Titan

Mother Night

Cat's Cradle

God bless you, Mr. Rosewater


Breakfast of Champions


Deadeye Dick

Galápagos: A Novel

Bluebeard The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian

Hocus Pocus


His writing still confronts us with our lack of humanity and compassion.


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