A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY by Kurt Vonnegut

by JF

This little book of recent vintage (written not too long before Vonnegut died) is probably the closest Kurt Vonnegut ever came to publishing a memoir. It is a list of Vonnegut’s thoughts on several contemporary issues; issues dealing with politics, modern morality and such. It has long been this reader’s opinion that the late Vonnegut had a similar personality type to the late comedian George Carlin, and everything in this book–all the satirical quips and often profound insights, the occasional hilarity–would seem to confirm this observation.

Unfortunately, like Carlin and myriad other modern very liberal types, Vonnegut only halfway “gets it.” For the only thing sadder in this book than the contemporary America and Americans which are lampooned and insulted is the fact that, after 80-some odd years of life on this planet, the best solution Kurt Vonnegut could come up with for America’s woes is a massive dose of more socialism. Indeed, the famous/infamous socialist leader Eugene Debs is given paean after eulogistic paean in several sections here.

Ugh. How sad. Vonnegut, you were one of the best novelists of the 20th century, and you may have been the best short story writer of said century, but when it comes to the way things really are, you just didn’t get it, bro. Although you sure did come a lot closer than the average idiot.

Rating: Δ Δ
1/2009

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