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Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations (The Last Interview)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  301 ratings  ·  35 reviews
One of the great American iconoclasts holds forth on politics, war, books and writers, and his personal life in a series of conversationsincluding his last published interview.

During his long career Kurt Vonnegut won international praise for his novels, plays, and essays. In this new anthology of conversations with Vonnegut—which collects interviews from throughout his c
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Published December 27th 2011 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Lee Battersby
Six interviews spanning a number of years, with the added bonus that one of them is a two-way interview with that other brilliant American satirist Joseph Heller. There's a great deal of repetition as interviewers ask Vonnegut the same question across the years, but the intent of the book is obviously to preserve the respondent's words in situ rather than edit them towards a seamless whole, and the book is crammed full of Vonnegut's humour, wisdom and unique, sadly-lost perspective of the post-W ...more
When someone reads one of your books, what would you like them to take from the experience?

Well, I’d like the guy – or the girl, of course – to put the book down and think, „This is the greatest man who ever lived.“ (Laughs)

Kurt Vonnegut was a wonderful man. I know it not only from his books, which I love, but also from these interviews. In the introduction to the interview God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut, J. Rentilly beautifully wrote: He combined gallows humor, satire, and science-fiction with a d
Although I do not regard Kurt Vonnegut as belonging to the top echelon of American authors, I do regard his work as worth the effort to read, largely because he is wiser in the ways of life than many more talented authors who get by only with the help of liquor and drugs. Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations contains a number of interviews that largely overlap one another in several places, but which redeem themselves by Vonnegut's views on war, peace, and the grinding lone ...more
My son and I had a book exchange today and so I sat down this afternoon to spend some time w one of my favorite authors. This collection of interviews spans 30 years from 1977 to 2007 just a few months before his passing on at the age of 84. Many topics are covered from his family and growing up in Indiana, his misguided efforts to earn a degree in chemistry, the influence of his WWII experiences on his writing and his world view, his writing, and despair over the human condition and America not ...more
Stephanie Pendrys
I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who hasn't read at least the basics of the Vonnegut catalog (Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions) because they might not understand the many references to Vonnegut books and be put off by some of the language and his views of, oh, the current US government, public schools, the way humans are destoying the planet, and the like. That being said, I loved it and am saddened by the reality that there will be no more new Vonnegut writing for me to enjo ...more
Sophie Gray
Well, of course it gets 5 stars, it's Vonnegut for Christ's sake, Vonnegut on a bad day is still worth 5 stars.

Really interesting, funny, sad and illuminating - and the added bonus of a conversation with Joseph Heller in the middle, another of my literary heroes.

I've read some reviews which say this is a rip off as it's actually a series of interviews many of which deal with the same questions and ideas as each other. I disagree, the interviews take place over 40 or so years and I feel complemen
Eric Hinkle
"My country is in ruins. So I'm a fish in a poisoned fish bowl. I'm mostly just heartsick about this. There should have been hope. This should have been a great country. But we are despised all over the world now. I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That's why I served in World War II, and that's why I wrote books." - Kurt Vonnegut, from the 2nd-to-last interview. He bears his soul in these last interviews, and most of the rest of the conversations are hilarious or touchin ...more
Jeffrey Bumiller
Great collection of interviews with Vonnegut, who is always fun to read. The Playboy interview with Joseph Heller and Vonnegut was an obvious highlight.
Stuart Estell
Some real laugh-out-loud funny moments, but a slim volume for its price. I can't help but think that a larger volume of collected interviews would have been more worthwhile.

But still, it's Vonnegut. If you're a fan, you'll hear that impish smoky bass voice as you read and chuckle quietly to yourself most of the way.
I am a HUGE Vonnegut fan - just take a look at my list on Goodreads - so perhaps it was partly my high expectations that made this collection of interviews so disappointing to me. Well over the first third of this book is taken up by a "self-interview" that Vonnegut put in his non-fiction blivit Palm Sunday in 1981. This same self-interview also appeared in the excellent Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut, edited by William Rodney Allen and published in 1988. So who, exactly, is going to read this ...more
Jeff Wyonch
I'm not sure if this was a great book or not. The quality of the interviews vary, and there is sometimes a lack of substance or direction. There are still some great nuggets in here.
A lot of repetitive material, but what struck me most about gathering all these interviews together was witnessing the harsh and relentless passage of time unfold before my eyes. Joseph Heller is alive and well and joking with his friend on one page, and being discussed bluntly in the past tense on the next. Vonnegut, as he says, never expected to live so long.

"When someone reads one of your books, what would you like them to take from the experience?

Well, I'd like the guy--or the girl, of cours
Jon Scott
I consider myself a huge Vonnegut fan and maybe that's the reason I held such distain for this book. The last interview is the final two pages and the remainder of the book is a rehash of old interviews. I did not learn anything new and much of the information was repetitious.
Someone bought me this book. I would never buy it for myself. Vonnegut was never one to turn away a dollar, so I'm sure he would approve of its publication, still, I believe my time would have been better spent rereading Go
As a reader of Vonnegut I found this book so interesting and hilarious, specially the Playboy interview with Vonnegut and Heller (Catch 22). One day I hope to read all his novels and stories.

Come lettrice di Vonnegut questo libro mi ha interessato parecchio ed è stato veramente divertente, specialmente le risposte di V. ed Heller (Comma 22) all'intervista di Playboy. Spero un giorno di riuscire a leggere tutte le sue opere.

This is a collection of 4 or 5 interviews with Kurt, including the last one with him on the phone in 2007. I love every word he has every spoken or written and must be getting close to the point where I have read all of them. This book is too short. Vonnegut is hilarious, but never as good when prompted as when he is writing/speaking on his own. The playboy interview with Joseph Heller was my favorite. They are both hilarious throughout the interview.
Good read if you're familiar with Vonnegut. Several of the interviews touched on similar themes. Overall I liked it and it was a quick read. I miss KV and plan to read everything he's written that I haven't read yet. I find him and his writing compelling but also tragic, because he loved humanity so deeply but was so unforgiving about our flaws. It seemed to drive him to despair. At the end it was like he gave up.
I love me some Kurt Vonnegut. His novels are to die for. He's a good interview too. Unfortunately, in this collection of interviews, there is a lot of repetition. Read the first couple and move on. 2 1/2 stars.
Kurt Kretzer
Good book for Vonnegut nerds. It contains a handful of interviews done starting in the 70s through 2007. There is some overlap between the interviews, but some of that is just due to Vonnegut consistently sticking to his views over the years, and so different questions elicit similar responses. It's interesting to read his perspective on his life compared to the biography.
Adam Floridia
To be clear, the actual "final interview" with Vonnegut makes up thee and half pages of this. The rest are various interviews that he did throughout his career. Additionally, readers should know that Vonnegut recycled the same material (sayings, topics, jokes) in many of his interviews making much of this collection redundant.
This book is a terrific way to introduce anyone to Kurt Vonnegut. For those of us who can never get enough Vonnegut, "The Lsst Interview" is a warm and powerful reminder of why we love this man and his books. Just posted my review at
Liam Card
This is a must read for lovers of well as a must read for all novelists. Vonnegut has such a grounded sense of right and wrong, art, war, politics, and government.

I will re-read this book for sure. Most likely on the days where I've spent four hours writing followed by two seconds of deleting it all.
Courtney Wilbur
Kurt Vonnegut is the type of human we could use more of. It is truly tragic that we have to live without him day to day. His humor is one I wish I could have experienced in person, but I enjoyed just the same on the page. RIP Mr. Vonnegut. You were an extraordinary writer and example to the human spirit.
A nice collection of KV interviews. The interviews span several decades and the highlight for me was the interview with Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut together. Always interesting to hear what writers are thinking about their books in the context of larger political or social issues.
Loved reading this. Most of the interviews cover the same topics but I absolutely loved the dynamic between Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. It makes sense that they can poke and prod at each other with affection and admiration but it is really grounding to hear them as "friends".
Worth it just for the interview involving Vonnegut and Heller. I would have given this 4 stars were it not for the same questions and answers constantly being repeated, but I guess they got the message through easier that way. Well worth the $1 I paid for it.
Lauren Biggs
A must read for any obsessive Vonnegut fan like myself. There's also an interview with Vonnegut and joe heller which to heller fans is also an added bonus. Good questions with great answers and a quick and easy read.
Alex Robinson
I'm a hardcore Vonnegut fan so I enjoyed this breezy collection of interviews. I was disappointed when I realized that a big chunk (about 60 pages) already appeared in Vonnegut's own collection PALM SUNDAY.
He was the man. A pity this collection wasn't edited better to avoid a fair bit of repetition. Still, he was the man.
A poorly-edited and insubstantial lure which attracts gullible Vonnegut devotees like me. Shameless exploitation.
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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
More about Kurt Vonnegut...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Interview (10 books)
  • Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview
  • The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • Jorge Luis Borges: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • Ray Bradbury: The Last Interview: And other Conversations
  • James Baldwin: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations
  • Lou Reed: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations (The Last Interview Series)
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