- Amazon Student members save an additional 10% on Textbooks with promo code TEXTBOOK10. Enter code TEXTBOOK10 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Bluebeard: A Novel Paperback – Sep 8 1998
|New from||Used from|
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From Library Journal
Vonnegut rounds up several familiar themes and character types for his 13th novel: genocide, the surreality of the modern world, fluid interplay of the past and present, and the less-than-heroic figure taking center stage to tell his story. Here he elevates to narrator a minor character from Breakfast of Champions , wounded World War II veteran and abstract painter Rabo Karabekian. At the urging of enchantress-as-bully Circe Berman, Karabekian writes his "hoax autobiography." Vonnegut uses the tale to satirize art movements and the art-as-investment mind-set and to explore the shifting shape of reality. Although not among his best novels, Bluebeard is a good one and features liberal doses of his off-balance humor. Recommended. A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Ranks with Vonnegut’s best and goes one step beyond . . . joyous, soaring fiction.”—The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
“Vonnegut is at his edifying best.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist. ”—Time
Inside This Book(Learn More)
HAVING WRITTEN "The End" to this story of my life, I find it prudent to scamper back here to before the beginning, to my front door, so to speak, and to make this apology to arriving gusts: "I promised you an autobiography, but something went wrong in the kitchen. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
_Bluebeard_ is the story of Rabo Karabekian, an Armenian-American Abstract Expressionist painter, told from the point of view of a autobiography/diary. Rabo is inspired to begin this work after an encounter with a bright, vibrant woman, Circe Berman, a writer of bright, vibrant novels for young adults, who doesn't believe in saying "hello" and instead greets him with the question "how did your parents die?"
These quirky moments of conversation and life color the whole novel. But the novel is not all humor and lightness; Circe's question demonstrates the bitter-sweet nature of much of the novel. Much of that which gives the novel its humanity are the moments of despair and sad revelation. But the revelations are not that of destiny controlling aliens, or the author giving free-will to his creations, a strength of the book, and over-all the book is positive.
Like Rabo, Vonnegut departs from the genre that he's known for, but both end up creating masterpieces that touch the soul and open room for wonder in Vonnegut's world.
I was a bit scared at the 'topic' of the book, which is a mock autobiography of an impressionist painter, as I've never been too heavily into the artistic world of painting, but regardless of the subject matter, the book is very much more.
Rabo Karabekian, a minor character in "Breakfast of Champions," is a stubborn, ghost of his past self at the opening of the book, until Circe Berman, a widow and pop novelist, shows up at his estate and begins to seek the non-ethereal man.
While the novel is in the style of an autobiography, it is also crossed with a sort of journal of Karabekian's relationship with Berman, his cook, and his last surviving painter friend. All of the characters have depth, yet are developed slowly enough to be well digested.
Throughout the novel, a Bluebeard theme is carried out, with Karabekian having locked up something in his potato-barn-turned-studio that everyone is dying to discover. Like something out of Catch-22, there are other smaller "Bluebeards" throughout the novel, as we see Rabo's childhood, 'apprenticeship', military service, marriages, painting career, and retirement.
Anyone that likes Vonnegut will love this book, and anyone that hasn't read Vonnegut should.
The journey begins with Rabo's parents escaping the Armenian Holocaust, then leads to his apprenticeship to Dan Gregory, a prominent Norman Rockwell-type painter who treats him like a peasant, and who is infatuated and enchanted by Hitler's philosophy, and the dictatorship in Europe circa World War 2. It also shows his affair with Gregory's girlfriend, Marilee Kemp, and their betrayal to Dan Gregory by going to the Museum of Modern Art and by making love to each other. It also shows his introduction to abstract-expressionism, and being in the same ilk as gorundbreaking and innovative painters, such as Jackson Pollock and Terry Rothko, both died due to self-destructive behavior.
This is a book you have to follow carefully in order to understand, since Vonnegut likes to switch back and forth to different time periods and zeitgeists in the course of this book. But it is essential reading, and certainly one of the most memorable books I have ever read in my entire life.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm a fan of Vonnegut, this is less sensational than most of his novels but it does have a great story and a gift at the end.Published on March 24 2013 by Brian M. Guthreau
The story of Rabo Karabekian a painter,father a man caught in his past. Vonnegut's writing about one of his characters in Rabo whom as been in other of his works. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by yessca
I'm a huge Vonnegut fan. He is one of the strongest influences on my own writing. However, while I usually find his stories full of real characters who are in unreal situations... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2004 by Eric D. Knapp
I am a big fan of Vonnegut. This author will amaze you every time. Bluebeard is deffinatly in the same ranks with Cat's cradle and Breakfast of ChampionsPublished on Feb. 2 2004 by Stanislav Dakhe
In the 5 or 6 Vonnegut books I've read so far, I've yet to be disappointed, and Bluebeard is certainly no exception. It is, however, one of his less fantastic tales. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003 by Archange M. Chavannes
This is book is an exemplification of life and its ironies. The author has such a witty yet down-to-earth writing slyle that makes the reader curious as to what lies ahead. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003 by Relentless
I don't normally write reviews for books that I've read, but on this one I couldn't remain silent. As good as Slaughterhouse Five was, Bluebeard shows a more mature, well-refined... Read morePublished on July 29 2002 by Alex L. Gelb
Bluebeard harbors two themes: good old-fashioned appreciation of the USA and the human spirit's longing to achieve something great in life. Read morePublished on July 6 2002 by Sunnye Tiedemann