Anne's Reviews > Bluebeard

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
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's review
Jan 06, 2012

it was amazing

This book is amazing! My favorite Vonnegut novel so far. It has the same ruminations on war vs. peace that I love, and comments on the ridiculousness of sending very young men off to war. And yet a victorious happy ending that pays off big! Not always the case with Vonnegut.

"May I say, too, that much of what I put in this book was inspired by the grotesque prices paid for works of art during the past century. Tremendous concentrations of paper wealth have made it possible for a few persons or institutions to endow certain sorts of human playfulness with inappropriate and hence distressing seriousness. I think not only of the mudpies of art, but of children's games as well - running, jumping, catching, throwing. Or dancing. Or singing songs."

What a grump! He shares the same dislike of the (literally) retarded people we choose as heroes these days - like Lady Gaga and sports heroes. Yes - I hate fun if it looks like the crap we're supposed to swallow in the arts in popular culture. The grammies? Give me a break. I'm as grumpy as a seventy year old man!

I learned about an improbable-sounding America - between the world wars the US was proud of having a tiny army and had no desire to police or intervene in conflicts going on all over the world. Imagine!

"Nowadays, of course, just about our only solvent industry is the merchandising of death, bankrolled by our grandchildren, so that the message of our principal art forms, movies and television and political speeches and newspaper columns, for the sake of the economy, simply has to be this: War is hell, all right, but the only way a boy can become a man is in a shoot-out of some kind, preferably, but by no means necessarily, on a battlefield."


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Guillermo  Great review for a great book! That theme of the absurdity of war seems to percolate through much of his works yet to me, never feels preachy. Like everything I ve read from him so far, it demands a reread in the future.

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