Home > General Chatter > R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

During high school and the early part of my college career, I adored Kurt Vonnegut. I read all his novels, some more than once. I even tried to copy his writing style [which I’ve mostly abandoned, but I would like to think that I still retain some of it].  I was introduced to Vonnegut in high school by a friend who was reading Breakfast of Champions for his AP English class. He piqued my interest enough that I borrowed a copy from the local library. I found the book fascinating, R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegutespecially the character of Kilgore Trout [For a while, my nom de plume around the interwebs was “Kilgore Trout”. I still go by it on occasion. And for a very long time, I owned a first-print paperback of Venus on the Half-Shell (this was pre-eBay, so it was not an easy book to find)].


I went on to read Vonnegut’s other works, especially enjoying Galapagos and Cat’s Cradle [before the Flying Spaghetti Monster, there was Bokononism. As I was in the midst of my Catholic Rebellion when reading about it, Bokononism really struck a chord in me. (If you know what to look for, there are Usenet posts authored by yours truly archived in Google Groups with a Bokonon quote as the signature)].


Why did I take such a liking to Vonnegut? Well, I thought he wrote very good novels. I don’t think I got some of the themes he wrote about [certainly not the first time I read his books],  but I enjoyed his brand of humor and certainly the way he organized his words into sentences. I admit that I gradually lost interest in Vonnegut. My dislike of Timequake accelerated matters, and I eventually lost interest in reading books altogether.


But if I had to name two authors who made a profound effect on me during my formative teen years, Vonnegut would be one [the other would be Salinger]. Today is a sad day. The human race lost one of its best novelists.


Read the NY Time’s Obit for Kurt Vonnegut.

Categories: General Chatter
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