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

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
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's review
Sep 28, 2011

it was ok

I feel like these early books are just warming up to the masterpiece - Slaughterhouse Five. I say this because I'm half way through Slaughterhouse Five. There are many pieces parts from his previous novels and short stories but they hold together far better. But let me focus on Mr. Rosewater.

This book has the debut of Kilgore Trout. A character I am always happy to encounter. But I feel that many of Vonnegut's books have a strong message in the beginning and a strong ending, but then a sort of disorganized jumble of kooky messages in the middle.

Such as the great summarization of the american dream on page 9:
Vonnegut talks about how the rich help each other get richer. "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 henseforth 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."

Rosewater drunkenly crashes a science fiction conference and proclaims the following: " I love you sons of bitches....You're the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to us, what tremendous misunderstandings, mistakes, accidents, and catastrophies do to us.:

On pornography: "He didn't understand that what Trout had in common with pornography wasn't sex but fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world." Trout's books - sold as smut - share names and characters with ones that appear in Vonnegut's Welcome to the Monkey House. Vonnegut's short stories appeared in popular magazines of the time - did he feel that the magazines represented things that were vulgar?

Then at the end when we debate whether Rosewater's Christlike loving and giving were insanity...Trout says, "..if we can't find reasons and methods for treasuring human beings because they are human beings, then we might as wekk, as has so often been suggested, rub them out."

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