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A previously unpublished novella by Vonnegut. Basic Training is not nearly as absurdist or fanciful as his later novels. The plot/setting/characters are all structurally congruous and reasonable. Basic Training is basically a quaint bildungsroman that deals with issues of love, authoritarianism, family and heroism. It reminded me a lot of J.D. Salinger's and Carson McCuller's novellas, and wouldn't feel too overshadowed by those authors or out of place in the pages of Harpers, the New Yorker, or the Saturday Evening Post of the 1940s and 1950s.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Basic Training?
My first Vonnegut. Slow start but well worth the patience. The characters in ensemble are clearly drawn with each one showing growth and clear change.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Basic Training?
I was quite moved in the final scene, when the General shows his strength of character by admitting his need for change of heart and expresses clearly with great difficulty that this indeed has happened. Then he is able to speak directly to his family with emotion no longer a threat to his authority, speaking of love with a balance of discipline.
What about Colin Hanks’s performance did you like?
Colin Hanks presented the characters clearly and consistently. He did a fine job.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened with interest as long as I could before breaking off for other required activities
Any additional comments?
It was a slow starting book for me, but I'm glad I hung in there rather than giving up. It was a great experience and I needed to learn not to quit too soon.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful