Carrie's Reviews > God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
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Feb 06, 08

Recommended for: cynical idealists

** spoiler alert ** Oh, man...I love this novel. Like all my favorite novels, I will never get tired of reading it over and over again.

What I love about Vonnegut is that he is so cynical about his own opinions, and that his characters are so often pitiable, likable, and irritating all at once. I love that the protagonist (Eliot Rosewater) is a kind of lovable, asexual loser hippie idealist who thinks love will cure capitalism, etc...and you can start to feel like, "hey man...maybe it can..." while you never have any illusions about how he's a loser hippie idealist who won't actually change much in the long run, and probably neither will you.

Vonnegut does have his moments - in all his books - where you think (well, where I think), "ugh...why does he have to go and get all post-WWII masculine on us...and just when it was going so well?" He is extremely bad at writing women. They are often bitches and/or crazy and/or sexually problematic in one way or another. BUT...I don't really mind. It's well worth it for the moments of hilariously cynical brilliance.

My favorite character is Eliot Rosewater's father, the irritable and repressed Senator Rosewater. He announces that "the difference between pornography and art is bodily hair" (which amusingly dates both the Senator and the novel). He watches in horror as his adult son steps out of the bath and absentmindedly unfurls one of his own pubic hairs - then delights at the discovery that said hair is over a foot long.
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