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If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young—The Graduation Speeches
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If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young—The Graduation Speeches

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  3,538 Ratings  ·  462 Reviews
Best known as one of our most astonishing and enduring contemporary novelists, Kurt Vonnegut was also a celebrated commencement address giver. He himself never graduated college, so his words to any class of graduating seniors always carried the delight, and gentle irony, of someone savoring an achievement he himself had not had occasion to savor on his own behalf.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Seven Stories Press (first published April 11th 2013)
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Nov 16, 2013 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest stories I ever learned about Kurt Vonnegut was what he said as a eulogy to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. At Asimov’s funeral, to the assembled guests, Vonnegut began his address with these words: “Well, he’s in heaven now.” Vonnegut recalls that the mourners broke up in laughter. It was so humorous because Asimov was an outspoken atheist. This anecdote is vintage Kurt, satirizing anything and everything and at the most ironic times.

If This Isn’t Nice What Is? is a col
Ilenia Zodiaco
"Di regola io ne conosco una sola: bisogna essere buoni, cazzo".

Si può rimanere indifferenti a molte disgrazie, ma non di certo ad una tale portata di coraggio, luminosità, altruismo. Che magnifico navigatore spaziale sei stato, Kurt.
Jul 25, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across this book by happenstance and was amazed when I realized that this was the perfect book I could read at this precise moment in my life. I have just graduated college and Mr. Vonnegut's words for the "young" have been inspiring and thought-provoking while ever maintaining his unique sense of wit.

I was taught multiple life lessons over the course of a couple hours. I found myself, for days, mulling over his ideas that surfaced throughout this collection of words. I was shocked b
Adam Floridia
May 05, 2014 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it
Shelves: vonnegut
Been way too long since I've read Vonnegut. This is a great collection of speeches that highlights his simply marvelous and marvelously simple humanist ideas.

Speaking of simply marvelous, my beautiful new daughter Reese Elisabeth Floridia enjoyed it too:


And speaking of being a marvelous human, here is what Nanny Vonnegut was magnanimous enough to draw just for Reese:


All I have left to say is "Boy, isn't this nice?!"
Jul 28, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young graduates, old humanitarians
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.”

I keep meaning to read more Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse Five somehow did not have the transcendent effect on me it has on so many other reader. But this collection of graduation speeches Vonnegut made in his later years, as an oft-invited speaker, paints a picture of a warm human being with gentle humor and some degree of self-depreciating wisdom. He w
Marcello S
Di solito mi tengo alla larga da queste raccolte posticce.
Però con Vonnegut si può fare un’eccezione.

Per me è un classico libro da bagno. Ti siedi lì, apri a caso e leggi.
Un po’ sorridi e un po’ rifletti. E intanto fai le cose tue.

Il mio errore probabilmente è stato di leggerlo tutto d’un fiato e alla fine risulta forse un po’ ripetitivo e troppo “sognante”.
Comunque ci sono un sacco di pezzi che potreste rigiocarvi ed è già un buon motivo per darci più di un occhio. [68/100]

Le donne vogliono u
Kurt Vonnegut is the type of author who, whenever I read him, I just feel better. Deep in my soul, I feel better.

This is a collection of speeches he's given, mostly to college graduates, and there are a few repetitions in the stories and anecdotes in here, but I still think it's utterly worth a read.

Vonnegut is as relevant, humane, understanding, wise and witty as always. And these speeches truly made me realize exactly who keen an observer he was of the world. He just got it. He got the white
Mientras Leo
Me ha gustado, aunque reconozco que esperaba más.
Jul 23, 2015 Alaska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Dobbiamo costantemente buttarci giù dagli strapiombi e farci crescere le ali mentre precipitiamo."

Vonnegut è Vonnegut, cos'altro c'è da dire? Per quanto molti concetti si ripetano in ogni discorso, ognuno di essi ha qualcosa che un altro non ha, ed è proprio questo che rende unico ogni singolo capitolo. "Bisogna essere buoni, cazzo!"
Jul 09, 2015 Νατάσσα rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Διαλέξεις με χιούμορ, σαρκασμό και μεγάλες αλήθειες. Νομίζω θα το ξαναδιαβάζω για καιρό, πριν το πάρει στα χέρια του ο γιος μου.
May 06, 2015 Aries rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-life, attualità
Sto per dire una cosa che mi farà perdere probabilmente la stima di qualcuno.
Io ho un problema con Vonnegut.
Non con il contenuto dei suoi libri (almeno di quelli che ho letto, ovvio).
Con il suo stile.
Faccio fatica, dopo un po’, a seguirlo, a seguirne i fili logici, a farmi avvolgere da ciò che scrive, nonostante poi ciò che scriva sia contenutisticamente condivisibile se non ben oltre.
Stesso problema (e qui altra stima persa) che ho con Foster Wallace, per dire.

In questo caso, poi, si aggiunge c
Sal Coraccio
Jul 29, 2013 Sal Coraccio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is sad that Kurt Vonnegut is not longer physically with us. But it is still a real joy to read his words.

There really aren't that many of his words here though, something like 115 pages including the mortared commentary, and some of it is repeated. But - much of it is worth repeating. I don't have any problems with that.

I found myself wanting to retweet his apt bits multiple times as I listened:
"Notice when you're happy, and know when you've got enough. As for throwing money at problems: That
Apr 11, 2014 D.C. rated it liked it
I adored Kurt Vonnegut. His books engaged me when I had started to believe any book handed to me by a teacher would inevitably be dull. And I once attended a speech he gave at Ohio State, so I can imagine how much better these speeches would sound versus read. On the page what was meant to be charming or amusing just comes off hokey and silly. The ideas are interesting, but this was a painful read. I received this book in Goodreads giveaway, therefore I am obligated to write a review, otherwise ...more
Ana Rînceanu
Reading this felt like graduating into conscious adulthood. This is a man who does not belittle us for being younger and stubbornly refusing to believe in (some) our elder's pity of us. The ease with which he delivers such advice is both amazing and humbling, strange and common sense. In my world, when people talk to you they embellish their words so much, their bullshit sounds fouler than if they just said what they wanted out of me in a straight manner. I would appreciate a clear heads up befo ...more
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

“Que levante mi mano quien crea en la telequinesis” de Kurt Vonnegut. No me digas que esto no fue bonito

Tengo que reconocer que no sabía qué esperar de este libro. Por un lado es un Vonnegut, siempre existe este afán completista; por otro lado, parecía una antología de obras menores, en este caso, nueve discursos y una recopilación de citas para meditar; el formato tampoco ayudaba mucho, es el formato del otoño literario de este año: libros en
Faris Alsaleh
Feb 21, 2017 Faris Alsaleh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this short but great book, we experience Kurt Vonnegut's commencement speeches to graduating college students. While I could go forever on why this is an essential read, I'd rather tell you to stop what you're doing and start reading this (audiobook form is also even better).
Mar 23, 2017 Davide rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Dobbiamo costantemente buttarci giù dagli strapiombi e farci
crescere le ali mentre precipitiamo.
May 07, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
I liked it. Huge Vonnegut fan, and have heard bits and pieces of his speeches over the years. This compilation, though somewhat repetitive, exemplifies the man and his message in a concise manner. I would love to be able to sit in his brain for a bit--the guy was a riot, and at the same time, spot on with so many crucial elements of life that we just cannot overlook. Politics, religion (or lack thereof), humanity, purpose...whatever you believe to be true, Vonnegut places you front and center; y ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair warning, this is commencement speeches...several of them, and all relatively short. Some, somewhat repetitive. But, the message is so good that you don't mind having it repeated. I've been unfortunate enough to never have read any of Mr. Vonnegut's work...but after listening to this freebie from my friends at Audible, I'm now compelled to at least look into Slaughterhouse Five. I agree with most of Vonnegut's POVs in his commencement speeches, so I'm guessing I'll at least like the messages ...more
Jul 19, 2015 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Chissà se, per un caso di fortuita meta-narrazione, qualcuno non si renderà conto che felice è anche il tempo dedicato a una lettura così".

leggi il resto qui:
Shaun Hutchinson
Great book of many of Vonnegut's speeches. There were some overlaps, but this was still a wonderful read.
Francesco Panzeri

Cosa: If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

Chi: Kurt Vonnegut (che però è muerto nel 2007; la raccolta è a cura di Dan Wakefield)

Quando: 2013 (Seven Stories Press)

Dove: Stati Uniti

Come: American English

E in Italia? Quando siete felici, fateci caso (Minimum Fax, 2015)

Perché: a inizio anno si è tutti più speranzosi e carichi di buoni sentimenti[citazione necessaria], e allora perché non alimentare questo immotivato slancio di positività con un libercolo apparentemente scritto proprio a questo scopo? L'idea

Dec 22, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing
A quick and insightful read. Some quotes that stuck out:

"Clarks, by reading well, can think the thoughts of the wisest and most interesting human minds throughout all of history"

"We are so lonely because we don't have enough friends and relatives. Human beings are supposed to live in stable, like minded, extended families of fifty people or more.

Your class spokesperson mourned the collapse of the institution of marriage in this country. Marriage is collapsing because our families are too small.
May 30, 2014 Jordan rated it really liked it
Vonnegut was pissed.

About so many things. And it all came out in his graduation speeches.
And it was/is so good.

Vonnegut's "advice to the young" is cynical and erudite, and captures his feelings on wars, global climate change, and American culture. (Hint: he fucking hated these things.)

But, as much as he yearns to wipe the slate clean of all the horrors of the human race, Vonnegut also suggests something inherently good about humankind, glimpsed in fleeting moments of happiness by his uncle Al
Sarthak Pranit
Now there's a reason why Kurt Vonnegut is my favourite author. It might be the same reason why Dylan Moran is my favourite standup comedian. I might adore Tolkein or Hosseini or Orwell or even Tolstoy with absolutely sparking fanboy eyes - but Vonnegut and Moran are the ones I just want to have a beer with. And for most of our life, that is all we need actually.

Vonnegut always astounds you. Sometimes you start reading his books just because nothing has surprised you or caught you off guard latel
Muthuvel Deivendran
I didn't get to read this book in the hardcopy edition as they are too much to be affordable in my locality. However i felt the need for this one, used free trial credits from audible. It's a previlege to listen this work comprising his graduation speeches which is nothing but a chance to take time for yourself, relaxing yourself going back your past, how things became very sweet, stick with your 'humane' goals. Normally some people read a lot of books and only occasionally they would feel some ...more
John Sotiropoulos
Καυστικός λόγος από ομιλίες σε απόφοιτους.
Ο Vonnegut βλέπει τα πράγματα από μία σπάνια οπτική γωνία, που καλός ή κακός είναι η οπτική και αντικειμενική γωνία των πραγμάτων. Μία οπτική που λίγα μυαλά σήμερα (δυστυχώς) μπορούν να δουν και να συνειδητοποιήσουν τι ακριβώς γίνεται στον κόσμο.
Ένα βιβλίο που αξίζει κανείς να διαβάσει, αν όχι μία, αλλά και περισσότερες φορές, μιας και η γραφή είναι εύκολη και με τόνο stand up comedian.
Ο λόγος που έβαλα 3 στα 5, είναι ότι είμαι του λογοτεχνικού κειμέν
Lady Strawberry
Dec 30, 2015 Lady Strawberry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Diceva che quando le cose stanno andando a gonfie vele bisogna rendersene conto. Parlava di occasioni molto semplici, non di grandi trionfi. Bere un bicchiere di limonata all'ombra di un albero, magari, o sentire il profumo di una panetteria o andare a pesca, o sentire la musica che esce da una sala concerti standosene fuori al buio, oppure, oserei dire, l'attimo prima di un bacio. Mi diceva che era importante in quei momenti dire ad alta voce: 'Cosa c'è di più bello di questo?'"
"Uno degli scop
Come Musica
"Per prima cosa, vi dirò grazie. Poi vi dirò che mi dispiace davvero: ecco, fra le tre cose, la sorprendente novità. Viviamo in un’epoca in cui pare che nessuno chieda mai scusa per niente: la gente è capace solo di piangere e incazzarsi all’Oprah Winfrey Show. La terza cosa che voglio dirvi a un certo punto –probabilmente verso la fine –è: «Noi vi vogliamo bene»."

Questo è il testamento di Kurt Vonnegunt.
Non resta altro che farlo fruttificare.
Sara Williams
At the moment I read this I was lonely and bored and absolutely convinced coming to college was absolutely the worst decision I had ever made. I listened to it laying in my bed playing a game on my phone and suddenly found myself absolutely ensorsed in Vonnegut's views. He is spectacular and his words came exactly at the right time in my life.
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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 Jr....

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