Monday, August 23, 2010

A Man Without A Country - Kurt Vonnegut

"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae." - Kurt Vonnegut.

True to all of the talk, I believe that this collection of essays is an accurate summary of Vonnegut's life.
Everything that truly defines him is there: his sharp wit, his complaints with the human race, his insightful prospects for the future (apocalyptic or otherwise) and of course, a great deal of his artwork that begins each essay:

There are a lot of different ways to interpret Vonnegut's work as a whole, and these different opinions come boldly forth with this collection of essays. As an avid Vonnegut reader, I delighted in the theories and opinions that I have come to love over the years of familiarizing myself with him. I recognized a great deal of the collection from other novels that I have read, and this was comforting for me. On the other hand, if there is someone out there who isn't completely in love with his style, these essays do have the potential to come off as the overdone ramblings of a sad, old man. Because so much of the work in this collection is within his other novels, it can be difficult to sit through his complaints about the human race when they aren't artfully disguised by fabricated characters.
If you have never read Vonnegut before, I would recommend going in a different direction until you have a flavor for his tone. Although the style is completely his own, regardless of whether he is writing an essay or a novel, I think that his deeper opinions on life, the human race and inherent happiness are better explained through the metaphoric lives of his fictional characters.
For me, this collection shines through many of its ramblings to show the true form of Vonnegut. I found myself falling in love all over again when I would come across a heart-wrenching sentence that I remembered from his past works. Really, it is more of a trip down memory lane than an actual unique text, for someone like me.

I give this collection a 3/5. As much as I always enjoy his voice, I think that I prefer it within his fiction.

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