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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  49,933 ratings  ·  1,632 reviews
Second only to Slaughterhouse-Five of Vonnegut's canon in its prominence and influence, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965) presents Eliot Rosewater, an itinerant, semi-crazed millionaire wandering the country in search of heritage and philanthropic outcome, introducing the science fiction writer Kilgore Trout to the world and Vonnegut to the collegiate audience which woul ...more
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Published (first published 1965)
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Lisa
“The problem is this: how to love people who have no use?”

The question raised by the legendary fictitious author Kilgore Trout, in the face of a reality that deals with the ever increasing sophistication of machines, is of more urgency now than in 1965, when Vonnegut wrote this short masterpiece, almost prophetically announcing the world as we know it. It deals with the issues of wealth distribution, guilt, family patterns, inequality, greed, mental health, uselessness and heartlessness, while
...more
Lyn
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the more outright funny novels by Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is a scathing social satire about greed, hypocrisy and good, though misshapen intentions. One of the most starkly telling scenes for me is near the end when Elliot has taken up tennis and lost all the weight, and it is as though he has awakened from a long sleep.

First published in 1965, Vonnegut shares the story of Eliot Rosewater, an heir to a rich estate who is restless and looks to find his way amid various philan
...more
BlackOxford
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
Secrets of the Money River

Vonnegut knew stuff about corporate life that most folk don't. Namely that 1) no one owns the corporation and 2) that the essence of the corporation is the separation of control (dominium in legalese) and benefit (usufructus). The corporation is essentially and magnificently useless. It is an arrangement that would have driven Roman lawyers insane, mainly because they equated control and benefit: if you got the use of something, you owned it. Breaking the link between c
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Dan Schwent
The Rosewater Foundation has more money than God. When Eliot Rosewater, the current head, starts making people nervous with all his talk of redistributing wealth, Norman Mushari decides to put Eliot's sanity to test in court and reaches out to the Rhode Island branch of the Rosewater family.

Kurt Vonnegut takes on capitalism and socialism in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the fourth book of his I've read. I'm still not sure how I feel about the esteemed Mr. Vonnegut. I think his writing is excepti
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Madeline
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list
Once I realized and accepted the fact that I will never completely understand what Kurt Vonnegut writes, it became a lot easier for me to read his books. My first attempt at reading his work - Cat's Cradle resulted in me staring at the page, mentally shouting at Kurt Vonnegut, "What are you even TALKING about?" Reading Slaughter-House Five went slightly better, and by the time I read Mr. Rosewater, I was completely at peace with Vonnegut's "maybe this all has deep meaning and maybe I'm just pull ...more
Darwin8u
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth.
It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It's round and wet and crowded.
At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here.
There's only one rule that I know of, babies—
God damn it, you've got to be kind."

― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

description

I've only got two big rules with my two babies (one boy, one girl): # 1 be happy, # 2 be kind. Everything else is negotable. It appears that Kurt Vonnegut independently arrived at the same conclusio
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Rude, but Not Construed

A satire on American society, capitalism, and religious and sexual hypocrisy, Vonnegut’s ensemble includes Eliot Rosewater (a less unfortunate Jay Gatsby/F. Scott Fitzgerald who lives long enough to be charitable with his family’s trust funds), his father Senator Lister Rosewater (a male incarnation of Ayn Rand, whose "Atlas Shrugged" was published eight years before and "The Virtue of Selfishness" the year before this novel) and science fiction novelist Kilgore Trout
...more
Melki
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-fiction
"Corporations are people, my friend."
Mitt Romney, former Presidential hopeful and owner of a car elevator

The Rosewater Corporation was dedicated to prudence and profit, to balance sheets. Their main enterprise was the churning of stocks and bonds of other corporations. Their secret motto? Grab too much, or you'll get nothing at all.

They are also in charge of the capital of the charitable and cultural Rosewater Foundation.

Norman Mushari, a recent hire at a DC law firm (He had an enormous ass whic
...more
Fateme
تصویر، کاملا، تصویری از آمریکاست. از ثروتهای عجیب و غریب در چند سانتیمتری فقرهای عجیبتر. اما یکی از رزواترها دلش به جای پول و ادامه دادن راهِ ثروتاندوزی که بعد از نسلها، کار چندان سختی هم نیست، چیزهای دیگری میخواهد. اما قضیه مگر به همین سادگیست؟ حتماً خلی چیزی شده. داستان، روایتهای گوناگون از این دیوانگیست.
شخصیتها، تند و بیمهابا وارد میشوند. من کمی ترسیدم ولی شما نترسید؛ به اندازهی کافی یادتان میمانند.

یادداشتی برای ناشر: انگار بالاجبار بدترین طراح جلد دنیا را دارید.
...more
Susan Budd
This is “a really good science-fiction book ... about money” (23), even though it’s not really a science-fiction book. The science-fiction is supplied by Kilgore Trout, who tells the same story as his creator.

In Oh Say Can You Smell? a dictator solves the problem of odors by eliminating noses. In God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the wealthy solve the problem of poverty by eliminating conscience.

And if that doesn’t work, they can borrow a page from 2BRO2B and build purple-roofed Ethical Suicide Pa
...more
Nick
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sentiments behind this book are pretty clear. It's hard to believe this is nearly half a century old, because it still feels stingingly relevant in a world of austerity, Tea Party Republicanism and millionaire presidential candidates.

The plot (such as it is) flops around sloppily, but that's Vonnegut for you.

There's more to Eliot Rosewater here than the character as presented in Slaughterhouse Five. In that other book, Rosewater comes across as a cynic, supplying meaningless platitudes. In t
...more
Manny
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite bits are the two pornographic novels-within-the-novel, Garvey Ulm's Get With Child a Mandrake Root and Kilgore Trout's Venus on the Half-Shell, both marvelously suggested by illustrative paragraphs. Philip José Farmer was tasteless enough actually to write the second book. I suppose we can at least be glad that he didn't get around to writing the first one as well.
A.S.
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book ever.
Hadrian
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't seem to understand why some people classify Vonnegut as a humorist. I find his books to be intensely sobering and the kind of thing that a lot of people should read.
Gabrielle
The company I work for has a department called « corporate giving », and I can’t help but find that hilarious. These people’s job basically consists of working with a set budget for donation purposes, but they are also constantly looking for the way to get the best return on their charity. “If we sponsor event X, our name will be on their website, printed on a big banner and in the program, we get to invite clients to wine and dine them, and then we can network with the other guests, exchange bu ...more
Dusty Myers
Oct 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a friend back in Pittsburgh who was incredibly smart and very kind and funny, but had a tendency toward literary snobbishness. (I know: can you imagine such a person?) Once he had something disparaging to say about Kurt Vonnegut, I can't remember exactly what. Some well timed comment that pretty much wrote him off as a hack, and I recall being almost hurt by it, seeing as how Vonnegut wrote so much stuff I loved as a teen.

And I guess that's maybe the rub. I loved Vonnegut as a teen. Sure I
...more
Shaun
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
3.5 bumped down to 3

I loved the social commentary in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and, similar to my experience with Cat's Cradle, found it to be a provocative read. Still, other than agreeing with a number of Vonnegut's insights and enjoying his humor, I didn't find myself the least bit invested in the characters.

Perhaps this is because Vonnegut's writing style is less exemplary story telling and more witty satire that reads like a cautionary tale/parable. So while his thoughts and ideas are
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Danger
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd time reading this book: Vonnegut’s satire of American aristocracy is as poignant today as I imagine it would’ve been when he wrote it in 1965, perhaps unsurprisingly so, as the type of ‘old money’ ideology he paints in this novel is still the same kind of ‘old money’ ideology that exists today.

Written in the earlier half of his catalog, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater occasionally drags its feet when considering Vonnegut’s oeuvre in its totality - but that’s only in comparing him against himsel
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Adriana
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ale-mele-citite
"Am plâns când am scris-o. Atât de amuzantă mi s-a părut. Şi atât de amuzant mi se pare totul."

Aceste cuvinte, scrise pe un bilet de un personaj total insignifiant al cărţii, îmi par cheia întregii opere a lui Vonnegut (cel puţin a celei citite de mine până acum). Nicăieri n-am mai întâlnit durerea exprimată într-un mod atât de amuzant. Parcă ai urmări un clovn care se ţine de giumbuşlucuri şi farse în timp ce lacrimile îi curg şiroaie pe obraji. Ridi, pagliaccio...
Carrie
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynical idealists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon
It was so much fun to read another book by Vonnegut. I think that's really all I need to say.

It was fun, thought-provoking, and made me laugh.
notgettingenough
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, modern-lit
Hilarious. Bonus: one can read it and laugh without the horrified guilt that hangs over the reading of Mother Night because it is only about the bad stuff we do to poor people and basically nice white people are all in agreement that it's okay to live better at the expense of poor people.

I would love to pull bits of this out to show you how funny it is. The scene where Eliot gives money to the poet so that the poet can tell the truth and the poet discovers he has no truth to tell. He only though
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Smand
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kitaplık, favorites
Çok eğlendim, çok sevdim. Burunları iptal eden diktatörün hikayesine uzun süredir gülmediğim kadar güldüm, devamlı aklıma gelip kıkırdatıyor :) Nice okunmayı bekleyen Vonnegut kitaplarına, şerefe!
Carol Storm
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of all Vonnegut's novels, this is by far the best. One reason is that there are no sci-fi trappings, no silliness about time travel or aliens, nothing but a real study of American history and the impact of wealth and greed on the ideal of democracy. While short and exceedingly easy to read, the book feels like an epic narrative, since it sweeps from the very rich to the very poor, from the battlefields of the Civil War to the modern sailing playgrounds of the very rich. It feels much longer ...more
Becky Carleton
Not my favorite Vonnegut novel, but worth reading for passages like this one:

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

That's what protagonist Eliot Rosewater, a rich philanthropist with PTSD, tells his estranged wife he's going to say at the baptism of two new babies in his communit
...more
Eunji Kim
May 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: youth with the pretensions of liberal politics--wealthy youth
i learned that kurt vonnegut wrote a play called happy birthday wanda june.
this book is, i think, the culimination of certain ever present themes that exist in vonnegut's work. and thus, the best impression of vonnegut that vonnegut would ever do:
fuzzy morality that is really quite clear.
sadness wrapped in a humor so dry that it's almost not palatable, but somehow, so genuine...oh i dunno--
i just really like this one. who knows? maybe because the women are so haunted and distant. maybe because h
...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
Why was I unconsciously imagining Donald Trump's idiotic self-contented smile every time senator Rosewater was mentioned in the book? Must be the zeitgeist.
I am amazed, how fresh and on time this whole Vonnegut's rant on riches feels today. But I'm not surprised. It's Vonnegut after all. Always leaves you laughing and sad. Because... humans?
Half star off - the ending felt a bit forced and whatever-ed. Other than that - excellent.
David Sarkies
Nov 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like thinking books
Recommended to David by: Initially some guy at college (through another Vonnegut Book)
Shelves: philosophy
Lawyers and Money
2 November 2012

There are a number of Vonnegut books that I wish to read again, but this is not one of them. It is not because it is a bad book, or badly written, but that it is somewhat to what I expect from him. I somehow enjoy the irony of how a science-fiction writer casts his main characters as failed science-fiction writers (despite him not being one, though I suspect that when he started writing this would have been the case). However, Vonnegut's genius is not that he is
...more
James Steele
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The current head of the Rosewater Foundation, Eliot Rosewater, is a very peculiar man. He was born to a rich family, has more money than he could ever spend on his own, and yet all he wants to do is help the poor. There are people conspiring to declare him insane so they can install a new head of the Foundation. Someone they can manipulate into diverting some of that money into their undeserving hands.

The narrative is so disjointed, never finding a focus. It wanders back and forth from past to p
...more
Katie
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Kurt Vonnegut, how I’ve missed you.

Vonnegut has been one of my favorite authors since I read Cat’s Cradle (Stop what you are doing. Go read it!) over a decade ago. Although I’ve been slowly working my way through his entire catalogue, it’s been a few years since I’ve read him. When I picked up God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, there was a moment of anxiety. What if I’m wrong? What if I’ve changed? What if Vonnegut is no longer one of my favorites? I’m happy to report that my worries were for na
...more
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Help me find a book I read in the 90s 1 2 Dec 04, 2017 09:58AM  
  • Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle (Modern Critical Interpretations)
  • Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
  • Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8)
  • The Vintage Bradbury: The Greatest Stories by America's Most Distinguished Practioner of Speculative Fiction
  • A Confederate General from Big Sur / Dreaming of Babylon / The Hawkline Monster
  • Venus on the Half-Shell
  • The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity
  • The Rainbow Stories
  • How to Talk Dirty and Influence People
  • Something Happened
  • Being There
  • Mason & Dixon
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Another Roadside Attraction
  • Ratner's Star
  • Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom #2)
  • Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
23,644 followers
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
...more
“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 henceforth 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.” 211 likes
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” 142 likes
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