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Deadeye Dick

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,432 Ratings  ·  536 Reviews
Deadeye Dick is Vonnegut's funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors—a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb—Rudy Waltz, a.k.a. Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that m ...more
Hardcover
Published 1982 by Doubleday
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MJ Nicholls
Oct 27, 2010 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
This is satire at its blackest. Deadeye Dick might be the angriest of Vonnegut's books: nuclear weapons, small-town life, hopeless parents and marriages, drug addiction, warped governments, racism, police brutality and gun laws. It's all here in this mulligan stew of righteous indignation.

Brilliant. A real tour de force of grumpy trouble-making.
Daniel Montgolfier
Jun 16, 2009 Daniel Montgolfier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vonnegut fans, fans of social satire, and everyone else
Recommended to Daniel by: The Book Fair
Before this, I had read a number of Vonnegut titles. But, unlike all of his other works that i have encountered, this one had a significant lack of "science" as far as the "science fiction" goes. There was no space opera that we find in The Sirens of Titan. There were no aliens, like in Slaughter-house 5 (and no time travel either). There was not a single gram of Ice-Nine nor was there an omniscient narrator that met his colorful creations at the end to give them advice. Apart from a neutron bom ...more
chirantha
Aug 14, 2011 chirantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like different Vonnegut novels for different reasons. I enjoyed the space epic that was The Sirens of Titan for the scale of its journey. I liked Slaughterhouse-5 for the incredibly powerful anti-war message it conveyed —not to mention its absurd sadness. Mother Night was beautiful in a picturesque way. I actually thought Galapagos was a little dry, but the ideas it explored made it more memorable than some other works. What was common to all of them was the strength of the satire and the grip ...more
Michael Gallone
Aug 23, 2012 Michael Gallone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vonnegut
Personally, this is one of, if not, my most favorite book of all time. I feel like it doesn't get as much praise as it should in the way that Vonnegut gives you a character that is human, but because of his life has become something more like a creature than anything else and finds so much difficulty interacting with other humans and able to understand the things they do and what he should do because he has been made out to be so alien from the moments when he was young all the way up to adultho ...more
Tyler
Sep 16, 2012 Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest I'm a bit of a Vonnegut fanboy. And by a "bit" I mean, "He's my favourite author." I like everything I've ever read by him, a lot. I just love his writing style, I love how he uses simplistic language but explores much bigger, heavier issues with it. I love his brand of satire. I love his weirdness, how he often puts slightly odd plots and plot devices in his books.

While Deadeye Dick isn't his best, it's still pretty awesome. He expertly explores the death of innocence. While I'm r
...more
Ewan
Jun 25, 2012 Ewan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The weakest Vonnegut book I've read so far (having read all except Player Piano and Hocus Pocus). Very little in the way of a story, which is not always a bad thing in itself, but it feels rather aimless and doesn't really go anywhere. It's a shame as it's full of brilliant Vonnegut-isms, little philosophical witticisms and remarks, but there's nothing really to hang it on. Actually, thinking about it, there is quite a lot going on, but it's rather a mess and without some kind of direction or st ...more
Kyle Steele
Apr 01, 2014 Kyle Steele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
I finished this book for two reasons: 1. I'm a Kurt Vonneget fan and want to read all of his books. 2. I don't like to start a book and not finish it.

That's it.

I can't say that I enjoyed this book, or really remember too much about it. The plot was almost pointless and it was beyond jaded. It's saving grace (for Vonneget fans) is that it gave some insight into his view of the world, which was nice. However, I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone other than those people who want to read everyth
...more
Chris
Oct 28, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Vonnegut is back at full strength! I'm reading his novels in chronological sequence and the two written after Breakfast of Champions were a disappointment at best. With Deadeye Dick, his power returns, with a more mature end-of-life perspective. Even though Vonnegut was only 59 while writing it, you get the feeling that his personal story has ended, and its epilogue has begun. This is not a guess: he admits it for himself, through his characters, and is a main theme of the book.

Between its openi
...more
Deedles
Nov 30, 2012 Deedles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm from way up north where the blueberries grow; where high school shuts down for the opening of deer season and kids learn to load buckshot before they hit puberty. If you do something in the morning, everyone will sure as shit have already heard about it by evening. It's safe to say that I live in a small town. And this, in a way, is sort of what this story is about. Rudy Waltz is the infamous Deadeye Dick of Midland, Ohio. Everyone knows him, and what he did, and those hometown nicknames are ...more
Denis
Jun 28, 2014 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the Vonnegut novel that called death, "shut his or her peep-hole". This is the Vonnegut novel that had cooking recipes sprinkled here and there throughout. And dialogue written in the form of short plays as well. This is the novel that had the misinformation about the Creole language only being in the present tense and the neutron bomb not wrecking anything but the living things. And so on.

This is a most depressing novel about a small town in Ohio that nobody cares about. Where all the p
...more
John Box
A wise man once said, ‘The key to happiness is low expectations.’

Despite being that wise man, I failed to heed my sage advice and went into this book with fairly lofty expectations because it’s Vonnegut.

It’s basically a non-chronological auto-biography of the main character, Rudy Waltz, and centers around the following line.

"That is my principal objection to life, I think: It is too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes."

He begins by telling us that his father, Otto Waltz, was bo
...more
Nick Baam
May 21, 2014 Nick Baam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cannot believe Vonnegut ever wrote a better book than this. Brilliant from beginning to end.

Some gems:

"If a person survives an ordinary span of sixty years or more, there is every chance that his or her life as a shapely story has ended, and all that remains to be experienced is epilogue. Life is not over, but the story is."

And: "I suppose that's really what so many American women are complaining about these days: They find their lives short on story and overburdened with epilogue."

And: "It is v
...more
Derek Davis
Feb 09, 2013 Derek Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: Don't read this novel if your house has burned down or somebody shot your dog. Written two years before Vonnegut's 1984 attempted suicide, it's the most depressing and depressive novel I've ever read.

The narrator, Rudy Waltz, as a teen accidentally shot and killed a pregnant woman while minding his father's gun collection. His father, a wealthy but totally untalented would-be artist in Midland City, Indiana, after a brief friendship with Hitler bought and outfitted a massive carriage ho
...more
Tasha Robinson
Just read this for the first time, and found it to be pretty minor Vonnegut on the Vonnegut scale. It's interesting to see him working with a more conventional plot, and less with unconventional philosophy, and channeling his signature cynicism into plot developments rather than explanations of the world for the readers, but there just wasn't much surprising here, particularly compared with his later works, essays, and short fiction. The ending was pretty unsatisfying, and the intro where he lay ...more
Oriana
Jul 16, 2009 Oriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristhian
Ouquei.

Antes que nada, solo leí este libro por el hecho de que se encuentra dentro del mismo microverso de Breakfast for Champions (praise, praise, praise!) es decir la siempre rara Midland City donde se mencionan a los Hoover y otras referencias a ese libro.

La premisa es interesante: una bomba de neutrones arrasó con todos los pobladores anteriores y ahora se vive una vida normal sobre los restos de los que alguna vez la habitaron. Ain't that cool? Yep, it is. El problema es que no se explora m
...more
Chris
Dec 13, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Deadeye Dick isn't one of Vonnegut's most famous books, but I think it's among his best. It's funny and mordant (obviously), but I really like the structure of the book. The point of the book is that life is unpredictable and takes you by surprise, which is reflected in the structure. Very early in the book we learn that the narrator, Rudy Waltz, runs a hotel in Haiti with a voodoo head waiter. He lives there because his hometown was wiped out by a neutron bomb. The reader expects that the story ...more
Jesse
Sep 23, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be a dangerous thing, I think, to read too much Vonnegut in too short a period. It would cause the weaker among us (i.e. me) to probably fall into a slight depression which only gargantuan amounts of Looney Tunes and Reese's Pieces would cure. Deadeye Dick, like most everything else I've read by Vonnegut, is so funny that you don't realize until you've finished just how monstrously bummed-out the guy is making you. It's a brilliant book. It hurts a lot. It's probably not his best. But I ...more
Michaela
Feb 04, 2016 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knihobeznik
Žiť s biľagom dvojnásobného vraha nie je ľahké. Rudy ako 12-ročný nešťastnou náhodou zastrelí tehotnú ženu a rozhodne sa žiť mimo stáda, nestýkať sa ľudmi, aby nespôsobil nejakú inú katastrofu. Doštuduje, stane sa lekárnikom a doživotne slúži rodičom, aby odčinil, čo spravil. Ostré očko sa v tomto románe môže nazývať aj vláda, ktorá rovnakou náhodou, omylom vymaže neutrónovou bombou mestečko, kde žije..
Samantha
Aug 09, 2013 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read Vonnegut, but this novel has renewed my thirst for his works. The commentary in this book is hilarious and completely on point - I think this might be one of my favorite of Vonnegut's works. I love black humor and I love his writing style and the intelligence of his work is always so great. I busted through this book over the course of a few hours, spread out over a highly productive day, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm so glad I decided to dive into this book. ...more
Patrick Book
Jun 27, 2013 Patrick Book rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
This might be, in my opinion, Vonnegut's most under-rated work. He turns a magnifying glass on a small Midwestern American city and creates a stirring portrait if characters whose lives are tightly intertwined, their tragedies echoing and rebounding off of each others' tragedies, rippling endlessly and so on. The interconnectivity of suburban life, its boredom and excess, are all presented her in a tragicomic fashion that is quintessentially Vonnegut. Never has death on such a grand scale been s ...more
Sab
Mar 16, 2015 Sab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first three-quarters of this book were a bit slow to me, but the last quarter made it worth the read. I love the idea that people view their lives as stories and epilogues. Now I'm going to become obsessed with this idea. Am I still in the Story part of my life? Has the Story even started? Or am I already in the epilogue? Maybe I will never find out, because [spoiler alert] "We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages - they haven't ended yet." Vonnegut sure knows how to mess with your head ...more
Jeremiah Wood
Nov 13, 2013 Jeremiah Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Kurt Vonnegut book. Vonnegut was recommended by a friend who thought I would enjoy his satirical works and cynical, otherworldly humor. Quite frankly, she hit the nail on the head. "Deadeye Dick" was even more than I could ever imagine, with fascinating, complex characters, clever writing, and disturbing, yet thought-provoking scenarios.

I anticipate what other surprises Vonnegut has in store for me!
Jamie
Sep 03, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even “lesser” Vonnegut (is this lesser Vonnegut? is there such a thing?) is top-shelf, top-notch Vonnegut.
To the as-yet-unborn, to all the innocent wisps of undifferentiated nothingness: Watch out for life.

I have caught life. I have come down with life.

That is my principle objection to life, I think: It is too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.

Concertina
"You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages, they haven't ended yet."
Bookhode
I am not really sure why I liked Deadeye Dick. When you talk about this book, there is not much you can say about the plot, or the characters, or even about a message it should deliver. In many ways, this is a book about nothing, but it somehow manages to remain interesting in almost Seinfeldesque way.

The novel is a personal life story told by Rudy Waltz, who got the nickname Deadeye Dick as a kid when he accidentally shot a pregnant woman. In the resulting lawsuit, Waltz's previously rich famil
...more
Zack Walters
Mar 17, 2016 Zack Walters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan
Oct 07, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
you think the narrator might be mildly are severely autistic? anyway, great book. typical vonnegut dry humor and cynical outlook. commentary on conspiracy, aristocracy, art, and (of course) existentialism. enjoy in good health.
M. D.  Hudson
May 31, 2009 M. D. Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fine, fine Vonnegut here. The botched past and the botched present. But he never gives up hope. His take on the awful burden beauty can be to a woman is very perceptive if relentlessly dismal.
Tim
Nov 13, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this novel several years ago, just after I had gotten into Vonnegut and voraciously read everything of his that I could find. After the very accessible novels like Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions, Deadeye Dick seemed, well, weak. I was a bit naive to think this, of course..

This short novel does not do much grandstanding. It's not cut out to galvanize a movement (as some other Vonnegut works have with anti-war, skeptical or humanist ideas). Until I re-read it recently, I didn
...more
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Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
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“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” 83 likes
“To be is to do - Socrates.
To do is to be - Jean-Paul Satre.
Do be do be do -Frank Sinatra.”
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