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

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
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Feb 11, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

A classic Vonnegut novel from 1965. It’s a sustained, funny and poignant attack on the ‘American Dream’ of free-enterprise and self-sufficiency. The Sunday Times review sums up this novel very neatly by declaring it to be “filled with irony and black humour and a woozy bonhomie.” The main character, Eliot Rosewater, is in charge of a Foundation that generates $10,000... per day; the way he chooses to spend this money is in direct opposition to the desires of his father, a Republican senator who has only derision for poor people...

By no means is this the finest Vonnegut novel I have read, but it’s definitely worth reading. It also features one of my favourite quirky openings of any novel, namely: “A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees...” Profound whimsy is thin on the ground among modern writers, which is one of the many reasons I keep returning to Vonnegut.
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