Tuesday, May 8, 2007

BOOK: A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

I confess, this was my first Vonnegut, and certainly his recent death brought his name to the forefront of my consciousness. As well, kookiejar listed it as one of her books at the Something About Me Challenge. And it is nonfiction 5 month, but I don't think I'm counting it as one of my reads, unless I get desperate in August!
This is a series of essays Vonnegut wrote in the early 2000s. From the jacket:

A Man Without a Country is Kurt Vonnegut's hilariously funny and razor-sharp look at life, art, politics, himself, and the condition of the soul of America today.
Written over the last five years with the examples of Mark Twain, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and a saintly doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis powerfully illustrated with artwork by the author. A Man Without a Country is an intimate and tender communication from one individual to his fellow Americans, sometimes joking, at other times despairing, always searching.

This was a very quick read, only 147 pages or so. I saw Vonnegut on The Daily Show highlights after he died, so his viewpoints weren't a shock. He is an interesting man, a humanist, with a great if somewhat discourageing look on life and planet Earth. Vonnegut once asked his neighbour, a painter Syd Solomon, how to tell a good picture for a bad one. Solomon answered "Look at a million pictures, and you can never be mistaken." Exactly. This was a good book ( but not if you think Bush walks on water or is smart, or if you have any good opinion of Bush or Cheney) and I can just tell. I liked how he discussed the big picture of planet earth, and the little bits about family and being a good person. Or maybe being the good person is the big picture.
Thanks for the recommendation kookiejar.

1 comment:

kookiejar said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Vonnegut echoes my feelings on every subject (even unfortunately the bleak view of the future). He was a very interesting person.