April 12, 2007

In Passing

I read this morning that Kurt Vonnegut has passed. I have not ever read anything by him... but feel perhaps it is time.

A few years ago, I read the autobiography one of my favorite authors, John Irving. My tendancies for books tend to go along the lines of fiction with twisted, sometimes dark, humor thrown in. Mr. Irving's quirky characters slay me. Anyway, so he has a book out called, "Trying to Save Piggy Sneed" and in it he writes of his childhood and how he got started in writing.

You must be wondering what this has to do with Mr. Vonnegut. Oh and by the way, speaking of writers I love, my blog daughter Sissy of And What Next, sent me an email that Pat Conroy is writing a new novel. Ahh... good news.

Back to Sneed, Irving and Vonnegut. What I read in Mr. Irving's book, which I enjoyed, was that many of these writers know each other. Mr. Vonnegut, senior to Mr. Irving in age, taught him or something at some point. Details escape me as its been so long, but many of these men know each other and they sometimes write each other into each other's books as characters, taking little funny digs at each other.

I found that to be... humanizing. Fascinating. Very cool.

I am surprised I've not read anything by Vonnegut. I am a voracious reader, although not quite like TGOO. As a matter of fact, I had an event to go to earlier in the week for a dear friend of mine who was being honored as one of the Women Volunteers of the Year in Palm Beach County, and the event had an enormous silent auction. As the other women twittered around looking at handbags, jewelry, flip flops, perfume, spa days, and what not, I bid on a big basket of books. And to my great joy, I won!

And so I shall put Mr. Vonnegut on my list of authors. I do not read a lot of sci-fi, but if you read one of his books and found it to be interesting, throw it in my comments and I'll try it.

And if you have not read about the life of Kurt Vonnegut, I suggest you do so. I was fascinated that a man I had heard so much about... that I truly knew so little about the life he led. His life alone seemed like a most fascinating read...

Posted by Boudicca at April 12, 2007 06:28 AM | TrackBack

I read Slaughterhouse 5 a few years ago and wish I hadn't, actually. Some of it was quite disturbing and stuck with me. But your experience might be different...

Posted by: Richmond at April 12, 2007 08:00 AM

Breakfast of Champions is a good intro to Vonnegut. Classic quirky style, very funny, and not as sci-fi as some of the others, seeing as it is set in 1970s middle America.

Posted by: caltechgirl at April 12, 2007 01:19 PM

Be sure to read his very short story "Harrison Bergeron" (it's in its entirety on the net somewhere). He wrote it in 1961...but it is an excellent observation about society that fits even today.

I may not have agreed with all his societal/political views, but he was still an amazing man and author.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at April 12, 2007 06:38 PM

I agree with CalTech "Breakfast of Champions" is a good intro to KV. "Slaughterhouse" is probably his best known, but "Cats Cradle" is good with me as well. I never got around to "Hocus Pocus"

Come to think of it, maybe that is why I was such a repressed teen, the stuff I was reading....

Glad I cut back on that...


Posted by: P'Cola Titan at April 12, 2007 09:08 PM

He is by far one of the most over-rated writers of this century. I found his work lacking in substance & style and the only reason he is highly regarded is because he broke with literary convention & publishing standards (by printing much of his own early work independently) capitalizing on anti-establishment & counter-culture sentiments. You will find that men in particular like his work & if you read /view his Breakfast of Champions you'll imediately understand why.

Posted by: lettersfromnyc at April 13, 2007 07:57 PM