Friday, November 4, 2011


From a review of a new biography of Kurt Vonnegut

Mr. Shields provides a good assessment of misconceptions about Vonnegut’s writing. Those impressions persisted throughout his later life, perhaps because the books that followed “Cat’s Cradle,” “The Sirens of Titan,” “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” and “Slaughterhouse-Five” became increasingly unreadable.

“On the strength of Vonnegut’s reputation, ‘Breakfast of Champions’ spent a year on the best-seller lists,” Mr. Shields writes of that 1973 disappointment, “proving that he could indeed publish anything and make money.”

Huh. Should I be embarrassed to admit that Breakfast of Champions has always been perhaps my favorite Vonnegut novel?

1 comment:

Steve said...

I read that review too, and it seemed interested mostly in how Vonnegut is not considered cool now. Maybe his later work did become a kind of self-parody, but the review doesn't mention what, if anything, the book has to say about a man who survived Dresden and turned his experiences into Slaughterhouse Five.