Kurt Vonnegut's famous science fiction short story details a dystopian world where aging has been cured but in order for one life to be born another person must volunteer to die. This dark story opens with a woman who has just birthed triplets, which means her husband must find three volunteers to die. Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five, is a master of fiction. Kevin Killavey's performance does Vonnegut's provocative story justice. Killavey's voice is warm and relaxed with an appropriate twinge of solemnity. His purposeful pacing makes unexpected turns easy to follow. Killavey is also adept at capturing a variety of accents and character voices while his singing voice is quite haunting. This tale of one perfect society's black underbelly is a stimulating listen.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was known for blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, and that is exactly what he does in this little gem of of a story from 1962. In the chronology of his works, it came between
Mother Night and
Cat's Cradle. The title is pronounced "2 B R naught 2 B" and references the famous phrase, 'To be or not to be" in Shakespeare's
The story takes place in a future when diseases and aging have been eliminated and, as a result, the government has taken measures to insure population control.