The only person I've ever met whose favorite Vonnegut book is Bluebeard is... me. So it goes.
The book follows former abstract expressionist painter Rabo Karabekian, serving as his autobiography and a mystery story simultaneously. The mystery? What is Rabo keeping in the huge potato barn on his larg ...more
“Everything about life is a joke. Don't you know that?”
From beginning to end, Bluebeard has Kurt Vonnegut written all over it. His irreverent tone, summed up in the quote above, along with his concomitant exploration of what it means to be human, brings together familiar themes in Vonnegut’s work. Bluebeard is the mock autobiography of abstract expressionist painter, Rabo Karabekian, a character who first appeared in Breakfast of Champions. This is a book about what art is and what it can do in ...more
It claims to be the autobiography of Rabo Karabekian, an Armenian-American WW2 veteran who became a major figure in Abstract Expressionism, after an apprenticeship with realist illustrator, Dan Gregory. It reads more as a memoir, intersp ...more
― Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
A pseudo memoir of Rabo Karabekian a minor Abstract Expressionist whose art literally disappeared (thanks to a poor choice in paints). It is hard to relay what the book essentially is, but obviously it is an autobiography of an almost loner, a hermit with a roommate. He lives in his big house in the Hamptons among the art he bought cheap (Rothkos, Pollocks, etc) years ago. He is being bull ...more
By the time I reached the last chapter of this novel, I realised that Kurt Vonnegut had taken me dancing, just as Rabo Karabekian had finally taken Mrs Circe Berman dancing.
71 year old Rabo sets off to write his autobiography, but soon discovers that it has equally become a diary of the summer of its writing in his elegant mansion on Long Island (inherited from his recently deceased second wife, Edith).
Rabo started his working life as a cartoonist and illustrator, devot ...more
An abstract expressionist, he had sold to the art festival a huge painting that was a green canvas with a piece of orange tape vertically affixed to it. For this he had been paid thousands of dollars. The local economy was struggling at the time and many non-artists resented him and his high falooting ways. (He was something of a snooty ...more
Check it out: The protagonist/autobiograph ...more
Although it's only a little bit about that too.
What it's really about is Rabo Karabekian, ag ...more
The story told by main character, Rabo Karabekian, who is an artist writing his autobiography. I felt Rabo was cleansing and purging his past emotional pains and experiences through art: in both painting and ...more
This novel, like every Vonnegut novel I've ever read, is tragic - but it has that patented KV infusion of humor and that familiar air of decency and humanity that makes it oh so enjoyable to read. ...more
I have vague memories of reading Vonnegut before—I have some very old, very pulp editions of some of his other novels that I … er … “liberated” from my father. I swear I’ve read Breakfast of Champions before, and I’m pretty sure I read either Cat’s Cradle or Player Piano at my sister’s wedding. I remember this because I was only 15, but the server still offered me wine (I declined). Suffice it to say, although Vonnegut is associated with some interesting mem ...more
The novel is the autobiography of an artist who has become a footnote in the history of Abstract Expressio ...more
Once apprentice to 'great man' and famous illustrator Dan Gregory before becoming one of the founders of an important abstract art movement, even if he was the least talented of the lot, Rabo Karabekian is now a septuagenarian content to live out his days in his well-off dead wife's family home, on the proceeds of his extremely valuable art collection and his only company his cook, her daugh ...more
Husband and Father: Floparroo.
Serious artist: Floparroo”
Loved this autobiography of the fictional painter Rabo Karabekian (who briefly appears in Breakfast of Champions and Deadeye Dick). In typical KV fashion, it touches on morality, war, and the human condition. And, of course, there’s that dark humor I so adore.
has created. But like all of Vonnegut's books, it's one I hope to revisit many times in the future.
Bluebeard is a fictional autobiography of a cranky old
Armenian modern painter living alone on a beachside estate. His life
is forever changed one day when he meets Circe Berman and is pressured
by her to write his autobiography – Bluebeard. We spend our time with
Rabo Karabekian divided between the present day, and the past. The
Rabo Karabekian is writing is memoir and we, the readers, are in on the story. There's war, childhood, friendships, loss, gain...… there's Life in all it's turmoil.
Throughout Rabo is expressing his lament that his paintings, which he considers mediocre, are somewhat outside the realm of "great art". And yet he'd like them to withstand the test of time and remain....but th ...more
You could say, it’s art imitating life, imitating life imitating art. Well, life imitating American postmodern art to be precise which, according to Rabo Karabekian, isn’t supposed to imitate anything. Imagine if they made a movie about this book. We’d have ourselves a party writing reviews.
I dunno, ...more
I was in my early twenties when I first read this novel. I think young people are particularly drawn to Vonnegut. His anti-establishment attitudes resonated with young punks like me. It is a shame that more people don't read him, or re-read him, when they are older. Bluebeard is a book that the fifty-something me enjoyed even more than the twenty-something me did, which make sense as it is about a man at the end of his life coming to terms with his past. As such, the old ...more
Bluebeard is more melancholy and less slapstick than Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions which he is more renowned for. It has a more subtle humour that lends itself t ...more
The genius of Vonnegut is his ability to see the humor in the worst tragedies, all of which he says are born of human folly. The protagonist just wants to live out his last days on his Long Island home but then is convinced by a seductive widow t ...more
It’s an amazing feeling to read your favorite author’s book written about a person of your nationality. 'Bluebeard' is the imaginary autobiography of Rabo Karabekian, an abstract-expressionist painter and close friend of Rothko and Jackson Pollock in post-war New York. Although born in America of immigrant Armenian parents, he is haunted by their close escape from the first genocide of the twentieth century, the massacre by the Turks of a million of their Armenian citizens. Vonnegut did a good r...more
I read a library copy, but I'll definitely be buying this book ...more
Perfect satire, can't find many words to write a good review I just can say that I liked this biography of Rabo Karabekian, worth re-reading for sure <3 Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers! ...more
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