Jan 06, 08
I loved every word of this book, and I plan to reread it. It isn't really a memoir in the traditional sense of offering an autobio, but some important parts of V's bio do stand out as he talks about the world and what human beings are doing with it. V is irreverent as always, hilariously so, and extremely political, as always, and supremely ethical... and all of this while making me laugh. I really loved the way that he talks about the craft of writing, sort of giving notes as he goes along about what a writer is and does, and what function literature can have. In that sense, his book really is a memoir, as he contextualizes narrative fragments that he has written while on his life journey: his personal experience of having survived the US fire-bombing of Dresden and having been assigned the task of disposing of the dead, an experience that he uses as the referent for his acclaimed novel Slaughter House Five; wildly satiric graduation speeches that made me laugh my butt off thinking about the looks on the faces of the parents and families all dressed up for their son/daughter's big day; eulogies for lost friends, letters to newspapers, to small towns in the heartland who felt it wise to burn V's books lest they corrupt the minds of our youth, etc etc etc. Another book that lifts my heart and tempts me to believe that there's something worth struggling for on this planet and that human beings just might have something important to offer in the quest to treat the world and the people in it as if all of this mattered.