The blurb on the back of the book says something about it having sadness... and yet you don't cry, and humor... yet you dare not laugh. I agree with tThe blurb on the back of the book says something about it having sadness... and yet you don't cry, and humor... yet you dare not laugh. I agree with that description. Vonnegut's combination of the completely absurd, spare yet brilliant characterization, dark humor and the straightforward critique of war (and pretty much the rest of America) kept me reading. I can't believe it took me so long to read this book. I'm sure I have nothing original to say about it that thousands of others haven't already said.
I think one of my favorite things was the description of the Tralfamadorean novel: They read it all at once and it is meant to capture simultaneous moments that together are revealing, surprising, deep and beautiful. This could very well be my personal definition of poetry-- combined with an important element of sound and form.
Kilgore Trout was a highly entertaining character as well.
I am glad I finally read this novel, as sobering as it is.
And I admit, I did laugh out loud a few times. ...more
I had great fun reading this book, especially at the end of the school year. I felt that I already understood the broad lines of the plot because therI had great fun reading this book, especially at the end of the school year. I felt that I already understood the broad lines of the plot because there are just so many references to this book in popular culture (movies, etc.) My literature professors would probably be disappointed to know how many times I had Bridget Jones Diary flashbacks while reading. Jane Austen is of course awesome, and it was fun to finally read the original.
I've been moving houses, too, and reading this during my moments of complete exhaustion has made me realize that moving houses has a strange way of bringing out the Victorian in me. I find in myself a renewed interest in household furnishings, whether things match, where items are hung on the walls, or which way they are placed onto surfaces. I stand and unwrap the most frivolous and unsentimental knick-knacks thoughtfully, evaluating whether they can be of good to anyone. I am temporarily convinced that children are to be seen and heard as little as possible-- can't someone else be in charge of feeding them after a day of moving? I can't be bothered. A governess seems highly desirable. I invent a thousand small projects I can do to beautify things-- armrest covers for our child-worn couch, touch-up grout in the shower, the exact combination of color and design and economical value for the shower curtain. All these domestic details would have amused Jane Austen. As I read I imagined Lady Catherine de Bourgh making her way through my tiny abode, disapproving of every room.
Also, I love the story between Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, but this one is superior in terms of the balance of power in the relationship. Jane Eyre still wins out in terms of the Gothic good-times and the mousy heroine, but from a feminist perspective and within the limitations of the culture and time period, Lizzy Bennett is awesome....more