And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life (2011)
And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life (2011)
Rating
3.86 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0805086935 (ISBN13: 9780805086935)
languge
English
publisher
Henry Holt and Co.
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Regarding Vonnegut's life there were plenty of surprises for me. I barely knew anything besides World War II and the Dresden firestorm (as anyone who has read Slaughterhouse 5 does). Weird, fascinating, and sometimes depressing life of a strange man. Still one of my favorite authors, though. The biography is amazing. Well written, amazing research, incredible analysis of Vonnegut's life and work. A must for everyone who loves biographies and/or Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut's life is fascinating, at least for KV nerdos like me and those who even surpass me on the freak-o-scale. Apparently there are a lot of us out there.Some have written that this book spoiled their appetite for a Vonneguttian feast as the image shown here is of a spoiled and frankly stupid young man who matures into a spoiled and grumpy old codger. Vonnegut dissed all those who pulled him to success despite himself and continued to make astoundingly bad choices right up to the end. His family learned to love him and mostly forgave Kurt for being a terrible father, husband, and friend. Some of his colleagues and friends, understandably, did not. All this didn't turn me off; instead learning more increased my desire to gorge, to examine/re-examine the jewels cut from such an ugly process.I especially want to read, "Venus on the Half-Shell" by "Kilgore Trout". I love the story behind it. A little known author of pulpy Trout-style sexy sci-fi, Philip Jose Farmer, asked Vonnegut if he could publish a novel under Trout's pseudonym. It was a weak moment for KV - he was actually happy (it was almost as if he didn't want to be happy for fear that happiness would spoil his writing). Kurt said okay, and the book came out soon after. The public loved it, a fun story that really seemed like Vonnegut had written it, while also spoofing his earlier works. It seemed like proof to Vonnegut could laugh at himself. Instead, KV was livid and refused to let Farmer publish any further books as Kilgore Trout.Charles Shield's writing is uneven, occasionally varying tense for no clear purpose and jimmying 25 cent words like tendentious and phrases like "la belle dame sans merci" into sentences where simpler words and expressions would do. Still, the book moves at a nice clip and every fact is clearly footnoted. Great effort went into the construction and I'm grateful to have be able to read it.One more funny story. Vonnegut's last novel, "Timequake", was a critical disaster after which he said he was through writing. After completing "A Man Without A Country" several years later, he was asked why he had gone back on his promise to retire. "Well, I had hoped to be dead." Typical dry, revealing wit.
Reviews
Cici
As a long time Vonnegut fan I really enjoyed this frank telling of his life, work and times.
Mark
As I get older I find myself relating more and more to Vonnegut's grumpiness.
Everjolie
A must read for any Vonnegut fan
jlobotka
Warts and all bio. Fascinating.
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