Thursday, April 10, 2008

Missing Vonnegut

It's tough when important, good people die. I myself began reading and loving Kurt Vonnegut only a year or so before he died. For better or worse, the guy was always true to himself. He acted like every word was a throwaway, but he meant everything he said, even if it seemed off-hand. When he died, despite the fact that I'd "known" him for a lot shorter of a time than others, I was bummed.

So my first inclination when I saw a review for "Armageddon in Retrospect" on the AV Club was to be excited with a tinge of mournfulness. It's clear that the reviewer had the same feeling when he first was aware of the book. But his review expresses the same inconsolable truth that comes when someone dies: "He'll never come back." I can't help but grimace when reviewer Zack Handlen says, "there's something uncomfortable in reading a son trying so hard to emulate his father. When Mark Vonnegut fumbles a joke early in, it's impossible not to feel that his dad would've handled it better."

Sad, but perhaps true.

If you've never read any Vonnegut, get out there and do it! My first experience with him was Cat's Cradle, and still arguably my best.

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