Shif-reads: "Slapstick" by Kurt Vonnegut
As I am sure I mentioned before on this blog I am an avid reader, or maybe even a rabid reader.
I love books and I love to read. I always have.
Many of my dreams take place in libraries (real or imagined.)
When it comes to reading I'm an omnivore. I am not that selective really, I read whatever appeals to me at the moment. When I am desperate though I'll read almost anything. As a rule I try to avoid romances, and I'm not huge on mysteries or crime fiction but other than that I'm pretty open. I do like a good plot but what I like even more is great writing.
Normally I am not big on re-reading books but I'll make a few exceptions and all things Vonnegut fit into that category for me. This week I re-read "Slapstick." It's not one of Kurt Vonnegut's most famous works and maybe not his best (I hear he gave himself a "D" on this book) but it is one of the most revealing about his own life. The entire introduction is about his relationship with his siblings, and his family history in Indianapolis, IN, the story behind the story of "Slapstick." He was a strange man, no doubt, with a unique view of life - but boy could he write.
The book itself is a tale of old man and former President of the United States living in a mostly destroyed and depopulated NYC. It's a story about the meaning of family and loneliness, with some pretty far-fetched speculations into the future of science and a grim view of the afterlife.
I don't think I'd give it a D but it does ramble and run off the rails here and there. Still, if you are a die hard Vonnegut fan you won't be too disappointed. Mr. Vonnegut really puts himself into this story and as a fan, really, what more could you ask for than your favorite writer parting the curtains to let you peek behind the scenes.