Rest In Peace: Kurt Vonnegut

I am saddened to hear this. I loved his work.

Kurt Vonnegut whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like
“Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “God Bless You, Mr.
Rosewater” caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a
generation, died last night in Manhattan. He was 84 and had homes in
Manhattan and in Sagaponack on Long Island.

Mr. Vonnegut suffered irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall
several weeks ago, according to his wife, Jill Krementz.

My favorite Vonnegut works were Cat’s Cradle and Welcome to the Monkey House. Yours?

13 thoughts on “Rest In Peace: Kurt Vonnegut

  1. I’ve read almost all of his work, and favorites are hard for me … I have to come down for Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle.
    It was a teacher in the ninth grade reading a passage about the human chess game in Welcome to the Monkeyhouse that fascinated me at a very young age with Kurt Vonnegut.

  2. I love them all for different reasons. But I love “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” because it is essentially a hopeful, happy book. And the scheme wherein everyone gets a family, and its motto, “Lonesome no more” presages the internet in some strange way. Lonesome no more. If that isn’t nice, what is? Rest in peace, Mr. Vonnegut, and thank you.

  3. Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five and Mother Night. Mother Night I especially liked for its twisted meditation on pretending to be something and eventually becoming what you pretended to be, to your surprise and regret.

  4. Harrison Bergeron. And not just because of the names–though Diana Moon Glampers is a really good name. The whole premise is classic “If this goes on…”
    There was always a part of me that wondered why an SF writer like Vonnegut was classified by most as a mainstream writer. But I never begrudged Vonnegut his place in American culture. I just wish that some other truly wonderful SF writers had a bigger audience, like he did, for their work.
    Good writing deserves to be read, whatever genre it may fall into.

  5. ‘Bluebeard’ is a favorite of mine. It suprised me at how good it was as it was not all that well received. I think I read it as two chunks – stopping only because it was so good I wanted to savor it instead of plow through to the end. Here’s the synopsis from Powell’s – I can’t do the book justice. “An old man recounts his past to a voluptuous widow, revealing man’s compulsion to create and destroy what he loves.”
    And a two juicy quotes:
    “My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things.”
    – – –
    “What is literature but an insider’s newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the Universe but a few molecules who have the disease called ‘thought’.” – Kurt Vonnegut, ‘Bluebeard’

  6. Sirens of Titan and of course, Slaughterhouse Five, Jailbird was pretty good too. Let’s face it- They were all good! Another great person bites the dust that the world couldn’t afford to loose!

  7. “Happy Birthday Wanda June.” It was one of the first plays I did when I entered theatre in the early 90’s. It was a powerful reminder of how all of our lives are dependent on each other.

  8. Galapogos, Slaughterhouse-5, and A Man Without A Country because it was saying what no one else would. I loved his illustration of “asshole” in Breakfast of Champions – thumbing through and finding that picture – on my parents’ bookshelf! – started me reading Vonnegut in my teens.
    He was Dylan Thomas with a wise-ass sense of humor and a multi-dimesional imagination.
    I woke up feeling depressed today, and now I know why.

  9. Mother Night, I think that it is the book of his that haunts me the most and the one I keep in mind years after reading it.
    The other single image that stays with me is the Church of Christ the Kidnapped. I think I read everything he had written back in high school – even wampeters, foma, and granfalloons – terms that I also keep in mind – granfalloons especially.

  10. Have them all (even the one by Kilgore Trout). Favorites are God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; and Breakfast of Champions.

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