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God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  10,017 ratings  ·  446 reviews
The noted author jumps back and forth from the afterlife to interview Sir Isaac Newton, Clarence Darrow, William Shakespeare, and his own character, Kilgore Trout, in this humorous look at death.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published May 22nd 2001 by Washington Square Press (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kecia
Apr 30, 2007 Kecia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: humanists
Shelves: general_fiction
He's up in Heaven now.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
This tongue-in-cheek journal of "interviews," smirkingly presented by our narrator and fictional radio journalist, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut himself, as Non-Fiction, is a succinct promotion of Humanist (sorry, Kurt, I mean "little h-humanist") values, a playfully mocking critique of blind-faith spirituality, and a short sprint down various tiny, random branches of both famous and near-forgotten history. It is also an homage to Jack Kevorkian and his all-too-humanistic life and work, as well as a critiqu ...more
Stephen M
I'm on the fence about a lot of Vonnegut's work. Because on the one hand, I read Slaughterhouse 5 as a literature illiterate in Junior year of High School (it wasn't until after High School that I became a real fan of reading). So there's a lot to love about Vonnegut on a purely nostalgic basis, or at least on the basis that he is who introduced me to literature in the first place. It was he that warmed me up to the great works that were to come, and of all the books that I claim to love now. I ...more
Jim
Oct 23, 2007 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like thoughtful humour
I think, for once, the brevity of this book does the subject matter a disservice. The short pieces were originally presented as 90-second interludes on WNYC, Manhattan's public radio station through the material has been reworked prior to publication. It is easy, tempting even, to race through this book, and enjoy the fun part of it (guilty as charged), and it is funny throughout, and not get the message; he can be quite subtle.

Vonnegut presents these short pieces as if they were factual accoun
...more
TJ Shelby
Hilarious book. What started as complete irreverence for the hereafter actually became an appreciation of life in the now. Originally a collection of radio shorts for WNYC, the book chronicles the author's trip down the long blue tunnel to visit the Pearly Gates and interview a cast of souls both famous and ordinary. Dr. Kevorkian assists each time to send him 3/4 dead and then to bring him back...well, until Kevorkian gets nabbed for 1st degree murder charges and dragged back to his home state ...more
MJ Nicholls
For an extremely short period of time in the late nineties, Kurt was “Reporter on the Afterlife” for the WNYC radio station in, presumably, NYC—hence the station’s name. (Columbo in the house!) This extremely short book compiles his ninety-second radio spots, where he met such figures as Dr. Mary D. Ainsworth, Adolf Hitler, Sir Isaac Newton and Isaac Asimov. Following Timequake, these little pieces were, more or less, what Kurt did towards the end of his life—little paragraphs of philosophical a ...more
wally
vonnegut must have written this later in life...

...what is a humanist? a humanist is a schmitt-heel who makes fun of the beliefs of others, at their expense, and offers nothing in exchange...

as cervantes wrote...friend to friend no more draws near and the jester's cane has become a spear.

read this one on my amazon kindle, second book i've read on it, both today...got to wondering...are all the pages here? how would i know? can't fan through them and sniff the cover...or is that against the law b
...more
Santi
[“This is one of my favorite part of this book: :)]

During my controlled near-death experiences, I’ve met Sir Isaac Newton, who died back in 1727, as often as I’ve met Saint Peter. They both hang out at the Heaven end of the blue tunnel of the Afterlife. Saint Peter is there because that’s his job. Sir Isaac is there of his insatiable curiosity about what the blue tunnel is, Low the blue tunnel works.

It isn’t enough for Newton that during his eighty-five years on Earth he invented calculus, codi
...more
Caris
I wish I would have heard the radio spots. These short pieces were clever and oh-so-Vonnegut, but they were far too brief. I really wish they would have been expanded for the book.

I find myself wondering about Vonnegut's use of Dr. Kevorkian as a vehicle into the afterlife. Having read a decent amount of his stuff, I know that no details are chosen without reason. I think I'd like to have a near death experience and ask him about it.
Jessica
“This morning, thanks to a controlled near-death experience, I was lucky enough to meet, at the far end of the blue tunnel, a man named Salvatore Biagini. Last July 8th, Mr. Biagini, a retired construction worker, age seventy, suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing his beloved schnauzer, Teddy, from an assault by an unrestrained pit bull named Chele, in Queens.

The pit bull, with no previous record of violence against man or beast, jumped a four-foot fence in order to have at Teddy. Mr. Bia
...more
Baelor
A very short collection of very short interviews with the dead. Fictionalized, of course, although Vonnegut characteristically blurs the line between fiction and reality, interviewing, in his own name, both Adolf Hitler and Kilgore Trout, i.a.

The book is transparently a fictional treatise on Humanism, of which Vonnegut was an ardent adherent. Being Vonnegut, he also includes biting satire. Take, for example, Hitler's megalomania, which persists even in the afterlife. Anyway, each of the chapter
...more
Kelly
Jan 11, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Vonnegut lovers who have not yet explored his lesser-known work
Vonnegut's eccentric whimsy shines through in this book, which is split into short segments documenting an interview in Heaven with a dead person. The brevity was perfect, capturing a thought just simple enough to be potentially profound.
Kristyn Conner
As someone who personally isn't very religious or spiritual, I was unsure whether or not Vonnegut's tiny little paperback would resonate well with me... but I must admit that I loved every single page.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian is essentially a collection of snippets that Vonnegut originally presented as ninety-second interludes on a New York public radio station. As a self-deemed "reporter of the Afterlife," Vonnegut permits the famed euthanasia activist Dr. Kevorkian (fondly referred to as J
...more
Michael
May 05, 2011 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all adults
The first thing I must admit is that this is not what I expected. I was expecting either an endorsement of or a condemnation of the controversial doctor. I personally think the good doctor did a valuable service for those who asked him for that service. If my earth journey happens to end in sickness and pain, I hope there is someone as compassionate as Dr. Kevorkian to help me cross the bridge. I doubt that such a person will be allowed by the medical, legal, and religious people who insist that ...more
Charles
Stuff I Read - God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut Review

So this is a weird little book. I'm really not sure exactly how to describe it, because it straddles a few lines, bends a few conventions, and it's hard to tell at times just how genuine or sincere the book is trying to be. Which might in part be due to the nature of the project. In a series of very short pieces intended for radio, Vonnegut imagines himself as a journalist to the afterlife, a man who can go and visit the other si
...more
Mike
This is a super-quick read, filled with tons of little gems. The premise: It's a series of reports from Heaven, near-death experiences administered under the care of Jack Kevorkian in a lethal injection facility in Huntsville, Texas.

It's the sort of subject matter that could easily come off as trite or condescending or ironic or overly self-aware, but the quick reports are anything but. Vonnegut opens with a short discussion of his humanist beliefs, and the depth of these beliefs is apparent thr
...more
Fahime
این بار ونه گات به کمک دکتر که وارکیان، نیمه جان می شود، احتمالا با تزریق چیزی مرگبار، به آن دنیا می رود، دم در بهشت با آدم های مختلف مصاحبه می کند و برمی گردد. جهنمی وجود ندارد! همه به بهشت می روند و سنت پیتر ترتیب ملاقات ها را درست دم در بهشت می دهد!
خود کتاب 65 صفحه بیشتر نیست، اما نشر افراز زندگی نامه ی کوتاه ونه گات را هم پیوست کرده است.
بین این آدم ها، هیتلر هست که از ونه گات می خواهد روی بنای یادبودش! بنویسند ببخشید. آسیموف هست که در بهشت هم همچنان می نویسد. نیوتون هست که سعی دارد بفهمد این
...more
Paul
Jul 25, 2007 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vonnegut Fans
Shelves: vonnegut
I cannot figure out if Vonnegut released this 'God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian' merely as a filler between novels, or if there was simply enough clamor from Vonnegut's and/or NPR listeners to have this collected and published. One way or another, I was left unsatisfied at this book's end, not because I disliked the short stories, rather because there were not enough short stories. I understand that each 'interview' was originally a short inserted into programs on National Public Radio. Subsequently, ...more
Chuck
I read short books like this occasionally when I am in the midst of an epic long or tedious novel just to break up the routine. I thought that this was to be a discourse on the defense of Dr. Kavorkian and looked forward to the having the issues discussed in some detail. That is far from what the book provided. Mr. Vonnegut used the good doctor fictionally as a means to control his entry through St. Peter's gates to interview for NPR individuals like Adolph Hitler, Isaac Asimov, Isaac Newton, Cl ...more
Kristin
Other reviewers have done the content of this book more justice than I can.

Admittedly, I read this as a relative Vonnegut newbie. I appreciated the musings and whimsy, but I left feeling unsatisfied. The premise of the book (i.e. reporter travels to afterlife to interview assorted historical figures) was full of possibilities. Intriguing. However, the randomness of the figures chosen and the shortness of the interactions left me feeling disoriented and confused--like I should have gotten more o
...more
Cecilia
I read this book as part of the summer reading club at the Library. It met the requirement for a book under 100 pages, counting in at 79 pages. As with all Vonnegut's writing it is both satirical and philosophical. It touches on a diverse number of topics from the nature of our afterlives to the death penalty to the true identity of the author of Shakespeare's works. In the story Dr. Jack Kevorkian helps Vonnegut, writing as a fictionalized version of himself, die in order to interview famous an ...more
jenna
Classic Vonnegut; it's funny, blunt, thought-provoking, humble and easy to read. I enjoyed that I got to learn a lot about the interviewees, some fo which are little known historic figures.

I would venture to say that it was a personal novel, and not just for the obvious reason that Vonnegut is the main protagonist. But, because of the content, which plays with concepts of death and the afterlife, as well as asserts, in more detail than in other publications I've read, Vonnegut's Humanist life p
...more
Carol
In "God Bless You, Dr Kevorkian" Vonnegut presents written transcripts from the post-mortem interviews he's conducted with dead celebrities (both well known and obscure) through controlled near death experiences courtesy of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. It is through these fictional interviews that Vonnegut gives his take on life, death, and the human experience and ends up at his familiar refrain: Life may be meaningless--but at least it's beautiful. My husband says this is vintage Vonnegut--A gospel of ...more
Greg Strandberg
If you're a Vonnegut fan you'll like this book. If you just like the occasional story of his then this probably won't be for you.

Let me put it like this. Have you read a short story collection by Vonnegut? Alright, you can probably handle this one.

It's just a lot of back and forth and good observations. Humorous, but not really that memorable.
Amber
I have read and re-read this book so many times. One, because it's easily accomplished in an hour; and two, because it's so awesome. Vonnegut is probably my favorite contemporary writer but his humor and political commentary rides through so nicely! In this book he talks about doing postmortem interviews with some famous and some not as famous people to ask them questions about politics and life. The people have diverse histories and he develops the characters into a sarcastic and quirky bent th ...more
Tjellow
second book i read from this writer i already think is a genius... placing himself in the humble footsteps of the irreplacable Isaac asimov, Vonnegut, as himself, enters a series of interviews for a certain radio station he reports for in the afterlife.. meeting all different sorts of people who recently or long ago left this earth for the heavens and asking each of the persons a few short questions on which they give us there interesting views and awnsers.
very intelligent book, short and brief
...more
Cari
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian is a wee book, less than 100 pages, and as this is typical Vonnegut style with the quick, punchy writing and expanded formatting, I read the entire thing in one go while sitting in the waiting room of my dentist's office. If you're looking for something short with a deeper message and a few laughs, this is for you.

I'm almost positive I read this several years ago in an earlier edition, but I don't remember it at all. Doesn't say much for the book's overall impact, un
...more
Kayla
Having just finished a biography of Vonnegut, I went to the library to find "Slaughterhouse Five". This slim volume was all I could find. As an introduction to Vonnegut, I think it captures his wit and idiosyncratic writing style. At 93 pages, it left me wanting more, so I will continue my quest. Basically, the author, with Dr. Kevorkian's help, finds a way to interview people in heaven....including Hitler who would like to say "excuse me" to humanity. Really, just an odd little book but it does ...more
Amy
So I have to think that this is one of those book that people like because it is supposed to be saying something deep and meaningful. I am going to freely admit that I didn't get it. I'm not going to say it wasn't because the book isn't deep and meaningful, but maybe because I'm not the kind of person that thinks on the level the author intended me to think. I need a guide or some hint in the beginning about what I'm supposed to get out of it. Then maybe I would have understood/enjoyed it more. ...more
Joy H.
Feb 08, 2014 Joy H. marked it as keep-in-mind
Added 2/8/14.
_God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian_ (79-page book) by Kurt Vonnegut (first published in 1999)

See a good review at:
http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2000/a...
BELOW IS FROM THE LINK ABOVE:
============================
"The vignettes take the form of a reporter for a New York public radio station who visits with historical people [he visits with 21 dead people] including: Clarence Darrow, John Brown, Adolf Hitler, Isaac Newton, James Earl Ray, William Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Kilgore Trout (w
...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
...more
More about Kurt Vonnegut...
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“OK, now let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about women. Freud said he didn’t know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything.

What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn’t get so mad at them.

Why are so many people getting divorced today? It’s because most of us don’t have extended families anymore. It used to be that when a man and a woman got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to.

A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys.

But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it’s a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it’s a man.

When a couple has an argument, they may think it’s about money or power or sex, or how to raise the kids, or whatever. What they’re really saying to each other, though, without realizing it, is this:
“You are not enough people!”

I met a man in Nigeria one time, an Ibo who has six hundred relatives he knew quite well. His wife had just had a baby, the best possible news in any extended family.

They were going to take it to meet all its relatives, Ibos of all ages and sizes and shapes. It would even meet other babies, cousins not much older than it was. Everybody who was big enough and steady enough was going to get to hold it, cuddle it, gurgle to it, and say how pretty it was, or handsome.

Wouldn't you have loved to be that baby?”
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“Tis better to have love and lust
Than to let our apparatus rust.”
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