Sunday, October 14, 2007


Author: Kurt Vonnegut

First line: All this happened, more or less.

Why you should read this book: Vonnegut's most popular novel is about the horrors of war, but it's also about time travel and alien abduction. Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time, bounces back and forth through the fourth dimension of his life, suffering through World War II and the Dresden firebombing, floating through a mundane existence as an optometrist who married for money, and tolerating his stint as an exhibit at an alien zoo, where he is imprisoned with a porn star who bears his child. The novel's unifying thread tells us, "Life is full of ugliness; best to focus on the good parts.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You think war is just spiffy, that revenge is mandatory, and the key to life is to hold fast to your pain.


Comrade Kevin said...

Another in a series of books that smart teenagers read!

Dragon said...

Comrade Kevin is a comedian. Should've put it side by side with the Hesse...

In fact, I'd put it on this list: Books I read as a "smart teenager" but couldn't begin to understand until well into my adult years.