Monday, August 23, 2010

Kurt Vonnegut

One of the pleasant little consequences of my job it that I'm actually reading again.  It used to take me six months to get through a book.  I just never made the time to read.  And now?  I've got loads of time, and I'm getting paid to do it.  So...why not?  There's so much down time at work that we all bring books.  One of the first books I brought to read was Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut.  

And I loved it!  More than I can say.  It was just...hilarious and tragic and imaginative.  It made me read like I did when I was ten, devouring the book on the edge of my seat, knowing what was going to happen (as Vonnegut writes his books with the ending first, as I've come to find out) but wondering how in the world the characters were going to get there.

I had read Slaughterhouse Five a few years ago and enjoyed it, but it didn't blow my mind or anything.

Cat's Cradle, however, made me fall in love with his writing!  I devoured Galapagos, and yesterday I just finished The Sirens of Titan, which I believe was his first book.  They're all so weird and wonderful.  And his structure...oh man.  It's like, "Here's a character.  Here's what is going to happen to that character in the end, although they don't know it yet.  And here's 300 pages explaining how they got there.  The end."

It's divine.  I'm thinking maybe my next NaNoWriMo novel should be structured similarly.  I dunno...I need an idea first.

And now?  I'm out of Vonnegut.  I have to go buy some more soon!  What books by Vonnegut have y'all read that you liked?



Unknown said...

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Greg said...

Breakfast of Champions and Player Piano are good Vonnegut bokks.

Bryan Ochalla said...

I've only read Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle, as far as I can remember, but I *loved* both of them. Guess I'll have to check out a few more of his book, thanks to you and this post :)

Silliyak said...

You might also enjoy the commencement speech that he did not actually write. Someone did a nice job of imitating him.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Hm. Maybe! Thanks, all! I think Player Piano is going to be next. That seemed to get the most recommendation here and on my other blog.

And thanks, Steve!