Kurt Vonnegut was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America's attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him, in the words of The New York Times, as "a true artist" with the publication of Cat's Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, "one of the best living American writers." Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.
Acknowledging the first anniversary of Vonnegut's death with 12 unpublished works. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
When Kurt Vonnegut died in April 2007, the world lost a wry commentator on the human condition. Thanks to this collection of unpublished fiction and nonfiction, Vonnegut's voice returns full force. Introduced by his son, these writings dwell on war and peace, especially the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. The volume opens with a poignant 1945 letter from Pfc. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to his father in Indianapolis, presenting a vivid portrait of his harrowing escape from that city. The fiction, full of his characteristic humor, includes stories about time travel and the impossibility of peace in the world ("Great Day") and, in the title piece, a kind of mock Paradise Lost, Dr. Lucifer Mephisto teaches his charges about the insidious nature of evil and the impossibility of good ever triumphing. In his final speech, Vonnegut lets go some of his zingers (jazz is "safe sex of the highest order") and does what he always did best, tell the truth through jokes: "And how should we behave during the Apocalypse? We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot. And get a dog, if you don't already have one." So it goes. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Kurt Vonnegut and Armageddon in Retrospect
"Gripping...demonstrates Vonnegut's mind-boggling evolution as a writer, the manner in which he learned to cloak his rage in hilarity, to cop to his immense despair without surrendering to it."-Salon
"A terrific post-traumatic witnessing."-Roy Blount, The New York Times Book Review
"The dark irony that lies beneath Vonnegut's wry, satiric work is always in the service of the individual...and against the system."-The Boston Globe
"Vonnegut has proved more enduring than the counterculture that embraced him."-The Village Voice
"A voice like his doesn't fade. Vonnegut had a way of making the bleakest thought seem insanely funny."-The San Diego Union-Tribune