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God Bless You, Mr Rosewater

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  43,511 Ratings  ·  1,356 Reviews
Eliot Rosewater is tortured by a fabulous inheritance he feels he does not deserve, so he devotes himself to drink, and to a life serving the dull, the ugly, the irrelevant and the useless. This is a novel about the pleasures, pains and perversions of people and money. It is the story of a millionaire's lunacy, the obsessions of a famous family and the collective madness o ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published September 17th 1992 by Vintage Classics (first published 1965)
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Jul 20, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the more outright funny novels by Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is a scathing social satire about greed, hypocrisy and good, though misshapen intentions. One of the most starkly telling scenes for me is near the end when Elliot has taken up tennis and lost all the weight, and it is as though he has awakened from a long sleep.

First published in 1965, Vonnegut shares the story of Eliot Rosewater, an heir to a rich estate who is restless and looks to find his way amid various philan
“The problem is this: how to love people who have no use?”

The question raised by the legendary fictitious author Kilgore Trout, in the face of a reality that deals with the ever increasing sophistication of machines, is of more urgency now than in 1965, when Vonnegut wrote this short masterpiece, almost prophetically announcing the world as we know it. It deals with the issues of wealth distribution, guilt, family patterns, inequality, greed, mental health, uselessness and heartlessness, while c
Jul 22, 2008 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list
Once I realized and accepted the fact that I will never completely understand what Kurt Vonnegut writes, it became a lot easier for me to read his books. My first attempt at reading his work - Cat's Cradle resulted in me staring at the page, mentally shouting at Kurt Vonnegut, "What are you even TALKING about?" Reading Slaughter-House Five went slightly better, and by the time I read Mr. Rosewater, I was completely at peace with Vonnegut's "maybe this all has deep meaning and maybe I'm just pull ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Rude, but Not Construed

A satire on American society, capitalism, and religious and sexual hypocrisy, Vonnegut’s ensemble includes Eliot Rosewater (a less unfortunate Jay Gatsby/F. Scott Fitzgerald who lives long enough to be charitable with his family’s trust funds), his father Senator Lister Rosewater (a male incarnation of Ayn Rand, whose "Atlas Shrugged" was published eight years before and "The Virtue of Selfishness" the year before this novel) and science fiction novelist Kilgore Trout
May 24, 2012 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth.
It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It's round and wet and crowded.
At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here.
There's only one rule that I know of, babies—
God damn it, you've got to be kind."

― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater


I've only got two big rules with my two babies (one boy, one girl): # 1 be happy, # 2 be kind. Everything else is negotable. It appears that Kurt Vonnegut independently arrived at the same conclusio
Sep 24, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-fiction
"Corporations are people, my friend."
Mitt Romney, former Presidential hopeful and owner of a car elevator

The Rosewater Corporation was dedicated to prudence and profit, to balance sheets. Their main enterprise was the churning of stocks and bonds of other corporations. Their secret motto? Grab too much, or you'll get nothing at all.

They are also in charge of the capital of the charitable and cultural Rosewater Foundation.

Norman Mushari, a recent hire at a DC law firm (He had an enormous ass whic
Sep 20, 2013 Manny rated it liked it
My favorite bits are the two pornographic novels-within-the-novel, Garvey Ulm's Get With Child a Mandrake Root and Kilgore Trout's Venus on the Half-Shell, both marvelously suggested by illustrative paragraphs. Philip José Farmer was tasteless enough actually to write the second book. I suppose we can at least be glad that he didn't get around to writing the first one as well.
Jul 24, 2012 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sentiments behind this book are pretty clear. It's hard to believe this is nearly half a century old, because it still feels stingingly relevant in a world of austerity, Tea Party Republicanism and millionaire presidential candidates.

The plot (such as it is) flops around sloppily, but that's Vonnegut for you.

There's more to Eliot Rosewater here than the character as presented in Slaughterhouse Five. In that other book, Rosewater comes across as a cynic, supplying meaningless platitudes. In t
May 09, 2010 A.S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book ever.
Mar 28, 2011 Danger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd time reading this book: Vonnegut’s satire of American aristocracy is as poignant today as I imagine it would’ve been when he wrote it in 1965, perhaps unsurprisingly so, as the type of ‘old money’ ideology he paints in this novel is still the same kind of ‘old money’ ideology that exists today.

Written in the earlier half of his catalog, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater occasionally drags its feet when considering Vonnegut’s oeuvre in its totality - but that’s only in comparing him against himsel
Dusty Myers
Oct 23, 2008 Dusty Myers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a friend back in Pittsburgh who was incredibly smart and very kind and funny, but had a tendency toward literary snobbishness. (I know: can you imagine such a person?) Once he had something disparaging to say about Kurt Vonnegut, I can't remember exactly what. Some well timed comment that pretty much wrote him off as a hack, and I recall being almost hurt by it, seeing as how Vonnegut wrote so much stuff I loved as a teen.

And I guess that's maybe the rub. I loved Vonnegut as a teen. Sure I
Jan 28, 2008 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynical idealists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Budd
This is “a really good science-fiction book ... about money” (23), even though it’s not really a science-fiction book. The science-fiction is supplied by Kilgore Trout, who tells the same story as his creator.

In Oh Say Can You Smell? a dictator solves the problem of odors by eliminating noses. In God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the wealthy solve the problem of poverty by eliminating conscience.

And if that doesn’t work, they can borrow a page from 2BRO2B and build purple-roofed Ethical Suicide Pa
Sep 25, 2013 Shaun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
3.5 bumped down to 3

I loved the social commentary in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and, similar to my experience with Cat's Cradle, found it to be a provocative read. Still, other than agreeing with a number of Vonnegut's insights and enjoying his humor, I didn't find myself the least bit invested in the characters.

Perhaps this is because Vonnegut's writing style is less exemplary story telling and more witty satire that reads like a cautionary tale/parable. So while his thoughts and ideas are
This is my least favorite Vonnegut to date (I have now read, in addition to God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, The Sirens of Titan, and his interviews). Of these, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is Vonnegut's most unsubtle work - it includes plenty of vulgarity and dirty jokes (which I generally dislike but can usually stand and even appreciate from KV) and a very explicit premise which runs throughout the book: the rich should sha ...more
Caro M.
Mar 23, 2016 Caro M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why was I unconsciously imagining Donald Trump's idiotic self-contented smile every time senator Rosewater was mentioned in the book? Must be the zeitgeist.
I am amazed, how fresh and on time this whole Vonnegut's rant on riches feels today. But I'm not surprised. It's Vonnegut after all. Always leaves you laughing and sad. Because... humans?
Half star off - the ending felt a bit forced and whatever-ed. Other than that - excellent.
David Sarkies
Nov 02, 2012 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like thinking books
Recommended to David by: Initially some guy at college (through another Vonnegut Book)
Shelves: philosophy
Lawyers and Money
2 November 2012

There are a number of Vonnegut books that I wish to read again, but this is not one of them. It is not because it is a bad book, or badly written, but that it is somewhat to what I expect from him. I somehow enjoy the irony of how a science-fiction writer casts his main characters as failed science-fiction writers (despite him not being one, though I suspect that when he started writing this would have been the case). However, Vonnegut's genius is not that he is
Carol Storm
Jan 18, 2012 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of all Vonnegut's novels, this is by far the best. One reason is that there are no sci-fi trappings, no silliness about time travel or aliens, nothing but a real study of American history and the impact of wealth and greed on the ideal of democracy. While short and exceedingly easy to read, the book feels like an epic narrative, since it sweeps from the very rich to the very poor, from the battlefields of the Civil War to the modern sailing playgrounds of the very rich. It feels much longer ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished all of the first six Vonnegut novels (except for the early Player Piano). It has been quite an experience over three weeks.

In God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Vonnegut clearly and relentlessly makes his case for Humanism. As a cry for all of us to love one another without reservations, and without expectation of material rewards for such love, the book is effective. However, as a work of engaging literature it falls short. I tired of the many pages of the Rosewater family history.
Aug 17, 2010 Petergiaquinta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently finished Vonnegut's Letters, I've been revisiting some of his novels I read long, long ago. At this point in my life, Rosewater wouldn't receive a five-star rating. I'll leave it up there because that's how I remember it from the first time I read it, but right now I'd say Jailbird is the better book, although as a lad I didn't think as highly of it.

Be that as it may, here's a book for Mitt Romney to put on his "to read" list. He's got the time these days, and he might learn a th
I began this book with uncertainty. I couldn't decided whether I liked Vonnegut's style or whether I hated its dry humor. I apporached the plot with morbid curiosity. The protagonist is a trainwreck, and I couldn't tear myself away from the book. it seems that this is the authors intention. I was uncomfortable watching Mr. Rosewater's life fall apart, until I realized that Rosewater enjoyed it. He is a an insane philanthropist, iresponsible with his money. But by the end of the book their is so ...more
Jun 30, 2014 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, modern-lit
Hilarious. Bonus: one can read it and laugh without the horrified guilt that hangs over the reading of Mother Night because it is only about the bad stuff we do to poor people and basically nice white people are all in agreement that it's okay to live better at the expense of poor people.

I would love to pull bits of this out to show you how funny it is. The scene where Eliot gives money to the poet so that the poet can tell the truth and the poet discovers he has no truth to tell. He only though
walking mp3

As wickedly funny as all nine Beehoven symphonies played backtoback at 78rpm.

Enjoyed this far more than I expected to.

Read By..........: Eric Michael Summerer
Total Duration...: 5 hours 13 minutes

blurb - Eliot Rosewater, a drunk volunteer fireman and president of the fabulously rich Rosewater Foundation, is about to attempt a noble experiment with human nature, with a little help from writer Kilgore Trout. The result is Kurt Vonnegut's funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal
Eunji Kim
May 07, 2007 Eunji Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: youth with the pretensions of liberal politics--wealthy youth
i learned that kurt vonnegut wrote a play called happy birthday wanda june.
this book is, i think, the culimination of certain ever present themes that exist in vonnegut's work. and thus, the best impression of vonnegut that vonnegut would ever do:
fuzzy morality that is really quite clear.
sadness wrapped in a humor so dry that it's almost not palatable, but somehow, so genuine...oh i dunno--
i just really like this one. who knows? maybe because the women are so haunted and distant. maybe because h
James Steele
Apr 10, 2014 James Steele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The current head of the Rosewater Foundation, Eliot Rosewater, is a very peculiar man. He was born to a rich family, has more money than he could ever spend on his own, and yet all he wants to do is help the poor. There are people conspiring to declare him insane so they can install a new head of the Foundation. Someone they can manipulate into diverting some of that money into their undeserving hands.

The narrative is so disjointed, never finding a focus. It wanders back and forth from past to p
Jun 23, 2014 Susie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"One of his favorite Kilgore Trout books dealt with ingratitude and nothing else. It was called The First District Court of Thankyou which was a court you could take people to, if you felt they hadn’t been properly grateful for something you had done.

If the defendant lost his case, the court gave him a choice between thanking the plaintiff in public, or going into solitary confinement on bread and water for a month.

According to Trout, 80% of those convicted chose the black hole."

I loved this K
Like most of Vonnegut, this was a pretty quick read for me. I tend to lean towards his spacier works (like everyone else, I read Slaughterhouse Five first because it's so famous) and this one relegates that sort of stuff to mentions of Kilgore Trout novels.
Instead of speculations of Earth's hopeless future, Vonnegut sticks to questions of what we qualify as insanity in this one, a question which makes it worth reading if you've got some time, but otherwise I would recommend other Vonnegut novels
May 26, 2011 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't seem to understand why some people classify Vonnegut as a humorist. I find his books to be intensely sobering and the kind of thing that a lot of people should read.
Jul 18, 2011 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
It's no secret that Vonnegut was a brilliant and insightful satirist. This book is one of his best and gets right to the heart of human nature and the love of money. However, for me this book was a bit too bitter and a little too sad. Of course, that was probably the point.

Vonnegut sets out the fact that "a sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people" on page one. The book showcases the influence money has in America and the fact that it generally brings about the ruin of peopl
خداحفظتان کند آقای رزواتر
کورت ونه گات جونیور
محمد حسینی مقدم
نشر نیماژ
کورت ونه گات جونیور نویسنده محبوبی است .سلاخ خانه شماره پنج از اثار برتر تاریخ ادبیات است و اثار دیگرش همچون صبحانه قهرمانان ،گهواره گربه و شب مادر سالهاست که در بین خوانندگان جدی ادبیات ،از جایگاه ویژه ای برخوردارند.نگاه انتقادی ونه گات به سیاست های امریکا و همچنین جهان شمولی افکارش نیز دلیلی بر محبوبیت این نویسنده معاصرامریکایی است.
خدا حفظتان کند اقای رزواتر از اثار دوره نخست فعالیت ونه گات و به واقع اثری از دوران طلایی کار اد
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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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“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.” 173 likes
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” 98 likes
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