Microviews Vol. 23: Marry Me Kurt Vonnegut!

on Friday, February 22, 2013
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut's recurring anti-hero (and hack author) Kilgore Trout heads off on a cross-country trek, unwittingly set to collide with the one reader who takes his shitty sci-fi musings literally. Along the way, Vonnegut manages to successfully skewer pretty much everything he can in this riotous romp through post-war American society and culture.
4 out of 5 Comicons

The Train by Georges Simenon
Simenon was at his bleak best when not writing about Maigret, his most famous creation. In this strange novel of dislocation, a man flees Nazi-occupied Belgium only to find himself an accidental refugee when his train is diverted and he is separated from his wife and daughter. Despair makes strange bedfellows, literally, and he falls for a mysterious fellow passenger. No happy endings here, just extreme moral bankruptcy. A difficult, angry novel.
4 out of 5 Tent Cities

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Everyone's got to start somewhere and in this, his debut, Vonnegut goes for the big one: the meaning of life. His answer? A rather unsettling, moderately funny gag that makes no less sense than any traditional explanation. Uncanny madness.
3 out of 5 Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulums (or is that Infundibula?)

The President by Georges Simenon
Portrait of a leader as an old man. Simenon captures the raging impotence of a semi-fictional French ex-prez watching his arch nemesis ascend to the throne. The old guy has a secret that can ruin him, or so he thinks. Beware the pats on the back, they just might be clutching daggers.
3.5 out of 5 Purloined Letters

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A biblical book of the Apocalypso, this, to my mind, is Vonnegut's crowning achievement. Pips Dr. Strangelove as the greatest artistic response to nuclear-age paranoia. Sadly, it remains just as relevant as it was fifty years ago.
5 out of 5 Bokonons

Marry Me by Dan Rhodes
Romantics steer clear! Pithy, often hilarious nuggets of unsentimental nastiness from the master of minute malice. Probably should have been called Divorce Me.
3 out of 5 Elvis Chapels


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