Flavorwire – which itself sounds like a Vonnegutism – has collected twenty comments from KV, many of them having to do with writing or with writers. Typical:

“Jokes can be noble. Laughs are exactly as honorable as tears. Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward — and since I can start thinking and striving again that much sooner.”


Note that these are all from KV’s non-fiction.


Thanks for posting this. I like what he told his grand-kids: “Don’t ask me. I just got here myself.”

So, I have just started reading my very first Kurt Vonnegut book.

It is called:

I’m only on page 28, so don’t tell me how it ends. Although I already have the impression that it won’t matter in the slightest how it ends. I mean that in a good way. Sometimes it’s the journey.

I found in my local library a large number* of Vonnegut books, all in the pristine condition of an unread volume. I figured they deserved to have someone put some creases in their spines so took this one out.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’ve never actually heard someone else narrate a book while I was reading it before, but with every sentence in this thing I hear Mitch Hedberg’s voice and phrasing clear as a bell in my head.


(in a cool way).

* - I understand that ‘large number’ is typically defined in mathematical terms as something over a billion. For the avoidance of doubt my local library does not have over a billion copies of Vonnegut books. Not on the shelves, anyway. Perhaps in a store room somewhere.

You’ve got years of good reading ahead of you (or ten days of unravelling sanity). :slight_smile:

Truth be told, the main reason Scrivener and Scapple’s documentation PDFs lack an index is thanks to the stern admonitions of Claire Minton, once professional indexer:

That will remain my excuse. :slight_smile:

Shameless exhibition bothers you Ioa-iffer? Really?

As you can tell I still haven’t gotten over that. :imp:

Well I did call it an excuse. :mrgreen:

Maybe the Ioa persona is the front. Nothing is what it seems on the interwebs.

Anyway. Now I know which book to read next: Cat’s Cradle. May it provide me with a great many literary excuses for scope reduction.

With Ioa-iffer you never know. You never know…

I’ve never read any Vonnegut. Should I? And would I like it if I did? Or should I just carry on ploughing my way through everything that’s ever been translated into English from Icelandic?

It’s a difficult question to answer. Especially for me, as I’m only 28 pages into my first.

It’s kind of like saying you’ve never listened to any Bon Jovi.
You don’t need to have listened to Bon Jovi to appreciate what the kids are turning out these days, but if you’re going to be listening to music anyway you might as well load up “Living On A Prayer” on YouTube and check it out at least once.



Thank you, pigfender. Over the years, I have toyed on and off with reading Slaughterhouse-Five, which is the Vonnegut book that I have most often seen recommended, and consistently decided that it looks like a traumatic read. I think I’ll rummage around his other books to see if there is something I am more likely to enjoy. So far, Player Piano and Breakfast of Champions are looking possible…

Slaughterhouse 5 is a small book with big print. From the vantage of page 56, I can say that it’s not as traumatising in 2013 as it might have been in 1969. There is a casualness with the subject matter which gives it all a satirical edge, but it’s a long way removed from anything you might see in the movies, in a computer game, or on CNN.

If you’ve read any of the Thrillers Icelandica, I’d be surprised if you’d come away damaged from the works of humanist and civil libertarian, KVjr.

Breakfast of Champions was one that drew my eye on the library shelf (I may have been hungry at the time).

This is exactly why I joined a library. I can afford to take gambles!

Vonnegut changed my life. My all time personal favorites though would be Galápagos, Breakfast of Champions and a tie between Jailbird and Bluebeard. I can highly recommend all his stuff, though.

OK, Breakfast of Champions it is, then. It is heading Kindle-ward as I type this.

Well, that was a good read, and an interesting one. Vey self-reflexive. Memorable “voice” (for want of a better word). Clever use of language and ideas. In a funny sort of way, something about the style or approach of Breakfast of Champions made me think of Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince (and I don’t just mean the inclusion of drawings) – but this is much more cynical, worldly and modern. I will certainly read more Vonnegut.

That’s an interesting comparison, I can definitely see it, and it makes me want an illustrated version of Hocus Pocus.

Can’t remember who said it—but from the depths of ancient Greece or Rome a succinct line on the same theme…

“Humour is an emotion like sadness or grief”

i think ,amusement, is an emotion but humour isn,t. humour is the thing - or the quality that the thing possesses - that induces the feeling of amusement.

it,s also a word for a bodily fluid. gross.

slowest. reading. ever.

Wouldn’t “humor” be more the abstract representation or a classification of concepts that are considered comical (another abstraction)?