Tag: Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut – Jailbird | Review

Title: Jailbird

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 240

Rating: 3/5

This book is a satirical novel that ties back in with the Watergate scandal, and because of that I struggled with it from time to time purely because I’m not particularly familiar with that particular part of American history. I’ve never liked Nixon, but he was also in power a long time before I was born and so it almost feels like it doesn’t matter.

Still, there was some fun stuff here, mostly revolving around Vonnegut’s wry observations and his occasional excellent one-liners. Because it’s also a sort of fictionalised biography of sorts, it also reminded me quite a lot of my own current work-in-progress, which follows the career of a fictional band. It has that same vibe where you have to optimise between showing and telling because while showing is an understandably good practice to have, you also need to tell sometimes to progress the narrative.

I’d say that I mostly appreciated this book from a writing point of view rather than because I particularly enjoyed it, but I think there’s a place for books like that on my shelves and I’m glad that I finally read this, especially considering it’s been on my shelves for several years now just waiting for me to finally tick it off. And to think that it took less than 48 hours. I feel kinda silly now!

Learn more about Jailbird.

 


Kurt Vonnegut – Bluebeard | Review

Title: Bluebeard

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 256

Rating: 8/10

 

Kurt Vonnegut - Bluebeard

Kurt Vonnegut – Bluebeard

 

This was a pretty interesting book to read, but it was also one that you have to concentrate on – it’s pretty jumpy and disjointed, but it’s also pretty. It’s interesting as well, in that it’s part fiction and part non-fiction – one of the interesting things about Rabo Karabekian is that the army regiment that he was attached to in his early days as an artist, which was responsible for using their artistic talents to mislead the enemy, really did exist, and they really did successfully trick Axis leaders into believing entire regiments where in places where they weren’t, and vice versa.

It’s cool, because the majority of the book actually deals with Karabekian’s later life – it’s essentially his autobiography about his involvement with the arts, except that whilst some of the characters are real, others aren’t, and it isn’t a direct representation of historical events. If anything, it’s a parody, and a well-written one at that, and there are plenty of factors to the story line that keep you turning page after page after page.

That said, of the two Kurt Vonnegut books that I’ve read (the other being God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater), this is the weaker of the two, and whilst I am glad that I read it, I’m already convinced that there are better introductions to Vonnegut’s work. But if you’ve read at least one of his books before, you’ll enjoy reading this just as much.

 

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

 

Click here to buy Bluebeard.

 


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