WHO: Kurt Vonnegut
WHAT: Novelist known for his satirical voice
WHEN: Born November 11, 1922; died April 11, 2007
WHERE: Born in Indianapolis, Indiana; died in New York, New York
WORK WE HAVE HERE AT LC:
Bluebeard: "Broad humor and bitter irony collide in this fictional autobiography of Rabo Karabekian, who, at age seventy-one, wants to be left alone on his Long Island estate with the secret he has locked inside his potato barn. But then a voluptuous young widow badgers Rabo into telling his life story—and Vonnegut in turn tells us the plain, heart-hammering truth about man’s careless fancy to create or destroy what he loves."
Breakfast of Champions: "Kilgore Trout, an aging writer, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth."
Cat's Cradle: Dr. Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to mankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh.
Hocus Pocus: "In upstate New York, an enormous prison run by the Japanese for profit sits across a lake from a college for learning disabled kids. There is a prison break and criminals overwhelm the college."
Jailbird: "Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government—and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentiary as Watergate’s least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times."
A Man Without a Country: "Kurt Vonnegut reflects on life in America, drawing on examples from Mark Twain, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and others to explore what it means to be an American."
The Sirens of Titan: "The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there's a catch to the invitation—and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell."
Slaughterhouse-Five: "Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden."
Welcome to the Monkey House: "A short-story collection focusing on Vonnegut's work from 1950 to 1968."
"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” (from A Man Without a Country)
“Science is magic that works.” (Cat's Cradle)
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” (Slaughterhouse-Five)
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'” (A Man Without a Country)