Rest in peace: K.V.

Sad news, a modern legend has become unstuck in time.

Sad news indeed. Vonnegut has to be one of my all time favourite authors. The world’s a poorer place without him.

Oh no. I nearly cried when I read this, really. Kurt Vonnegut is responsible for my appetite for reading and for my wanting to write (so, a good thing and a bad thing :slight_smile: ). And because of the latter, without him, there would have been no Scrivener. Slaughterhouse 5 made me realise that fiction didn’t have to be like the stodgy stuff I was fed in sixth form. The world has lost one of its best (and most underrated) writers.

What is the purpose of life?
To be the eyes,
the ears
and conscience
of the creator of the universe,
you fool.

  • Breakfast of Champions

Not that Vonnegut really believed there was a creator - as he says in Man Without a Country - he was a great thinker. Many years ago, an American friend of mine very perceptively of Vonnegut: “He hates the world, but loves people.” Kind of the exact opposite of the doctor in Brothers Karamazov who says that the more he loved mankind, the more he came to loathe individuals. And I would never have even read Dostoyevsky when I was 19 were it not for Elliot Rosewater telling Billy Pilgrim that it contained everything there is to know about life.

Mr Vonnegut, every time I cross out a semi-colon, I will think of you.

From the Books of Bokonon:

The Boko-maru Calypso

We will touch our feet, yes,
Yes, for all we’re worth,
And we will love each other, yes,
Yes, like we love our Mother Earth.

Good-bye Kurt. Thank you.


KV was one of my heroes, to be sure. Slaughterhouse Five rocked a generation, my generation in fact. It’s hard to believe he won’t be around to offer his unique vision about what is happening in the world. He will definitely be missed.


Sad news indeed, but he lived a long life, and leaves us a wonderful body of work.

I met him once, about ten years ago. He was rather bitter. Had just had a fall and his hip was bothering him–left the evening early, said a bottle of whisky awaited him in his hotel room. Another time, I bumped into him in the supermarket… :open_mouth:

Always smile when I watch that Rodney Dangerfield movie where he hires KV to write a paper … on KV … and the professor says “Who ever wrote this knows nothing about Vonnegut!”