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“I was making my mind as blank as possible, you see, since the past was so embarrassing and the future so terrifying.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
Sometimes, I'm not sure if we are running recklessly toward a Philip K Dick future or a Kurt Vonnegut future. Sometimes, it sure seems like a bit of both. Both authors like to play with ideas of fascism. I think part of the draw, for me, of these two authors right now is how they sensed (Vonnegut especially in this book) the absolute absurdity and reality of economic greed, political malfeasance, incompetence, power, and the inability of the huddled, socialist masses to make much of a damn bit of difference.
Part of Vonnegut's appeal is his everyman's view of things. He doesn't write his books from some ivory tower. His perch seems to be closer to a cranky uncle on a beat up couch, with cigarette burns in his pants, gravy on his shirt, and a wink in his eye.
This is the second book I've read after challenging, bribing my 15-year-old son to read some of my Vonnegut paperbacks. I'm now two books into my own Vonnegut revisit. Peace.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful
Read not for a story. Read, or as in my case, listen for KV's message. Thoughtful.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What I most love about Vonnegut is the way he weaves serious historical facts about great evils and injustices with wickedly sharp humour and vivid characters, to make for a story that is both entertaining and profound. "Jailbird" thoroughly fits that mould. It makes for illuminating reading.