Kurt Vonnegut is Dead at 84, So It Goes

The New York Times has a nice long obituary.

Vonnegut was one of my favorite authors. I remember reading Slaughterhouse-Five, being enamored with it and then tearing through a bunch of his novels, like Cat’s Cradle, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, and Breakfast of Champions, and his essays in the books Palm Sunday and Fates Worse Than Death, and his short stories in Welcome to the Monkey House.

What I loved most about his writing was his humor and his humanity. His characters are flawed human beings struggling to understand their own lives and the madness of the world all around them. The humor made the madness bearable.

From Cat’s Cradle:

“What hope can there be for mankind,” I thought, “when there are such men as Felix Hoenikker to give such playthings as ice-nine to such short-sighted children as almost all men and women are?”

And I remembered The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon, which I had read in its entirety the night before. The Fourteenth Book is entitled, “What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, given the Experience of the Past Million Years?”

It doesn’ t take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.

This is it:

“Nothing.”

You can find a bunch of Vonnegut’s books here.

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