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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel Paperback – Sep 8 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback (Sept. 8 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385333471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385333474
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 15.1 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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A SUM OF MONEY is a leading character in this tale about people, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeni P on April 11 2003
Format: Paperback
Okay, so God Bless You... may not be the the best thing Vonnegut's ever written, but Vonnegut on an off day is still well worth reading. This book has all his trademarks, from biting social commentary and blazing satire to dark humor and quirky characters. It's a speedy read that will make you both laugh and wince by turns. Don't make it the first Vonnegut book you read -- for that, I'd suggest Slaughterhouse 5 -- but if you're a fan give it a whirl.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a pearl. Those who did not give it a positive review called it "slow" or "underdeveloped." These are valid opinions, and you might be right in describing it as such. It is not a thrill-ride or a comic book, and was not intended to be. I did not read it in one sitting, but I have read it 3 times now.

This book is not for the novice Vonnegut reader. I found its themes to be somewhat similar to Vonnegut's first book, "Player Piano." IF YOU SAY THIS BOOK IS ABOUT ECONOMICS AND CAPITALISM VS. SOCIALISM, YOU MISSED THE POINT! Vonnegut makes an effort to show that money can be removed from the lesson this book teaches. Like "Player Piano," it comments on a myriad of subjects, but is ultimately aimed at mourning the purposeless life many Americans now find themselves in. - Rich or poor, to live without purpose and meaning is death.-

Eliot Rosewater is the hero, almost a Christ-figure, because he loves the people of Rosewater - most of whom live without purpose - UNCONDITIONALLY. Even though it may not solve the problem, Eliot gives them all he has and blesses them, because a fortune given away might not do any good, but a fortune saved is even more meaningless and empty. Yes - it is harsh on capitalism, classism, and conservativism, but that's Vonnegut. A TRIUMPH FOR HUMANISM.

Might be too idealistic for some, but definitely worth a read. And of course, it has its hilarious moments.

addicted to Vonnegut

-w
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Format: Paperback
this book was fabulous.. just like everything else that i've read by him. this book had great charaters, plot and voice. this is definitely a book worth reading.
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By A Customer on Aug. 18 2003
Format: Paperback
This book takes an interesting look as the simbiotic relationship between a town and its benefactor. I love the lessons learned and it makes you stop and think about the current structure of our society.
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By g4cube on Dec 26 2002
Format: Paperback
Eliot Rosewater is giving away his money (and love and attention) to deserving people... and some maybe not so deserving. This proves he is crazy. Hence the subtitle "Pearls Before Swine."
That's the setup in this minor Vonnegut novel. Eliot has no illusions about the quality of the people he sometimes helps or how far his help will go. But he insists that the world would be a better place if everyone gave a little something to each other. This in turn sets Eliot up for a confrontation with a lawyer and his Senator father as the family fortune is threatened because Eliot can be proven insane. After all, he's giving it away. He must be crazy. Kilgore Trout comes to the rescue with his usual comically inverted (and yet somehow truer) morals.
This isn't Vonnegut's best but it is a pleasant and gentle novel with a bit of a moral and some good comic moments. A nice read.
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By S. Bell on Dec 18 2002
Format: Paperback
As a huge vonnegut fan, I was very upset to find that this book had a badly developed plot, uninteresting characters, and an almost tragic lack of all the things that make a vonnegut novel great. There really wasn't even what I'd call a complete story, and I skipped a lot of pages out of boredom just to keep things moving. Not recommended for anyone except the rare person who thinks Vonnegut's good books are bad and wants to read a bad one for the sheer pleasure of it all.
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By L. Dann on Nov. 12 2002
Format: Paperback
Eliot Rosewater is a fat and mediocre minded do-gooder. What makes him extraordinary is that he has the means, through the Rosewater foundation, to dole out money to anyone who requests a bit. In his home town of Rosewater, Indiana, where he has returned like the prodigal mad citizen, he ignores society, purchases an enormous fire alarm, bankrolls the fire company and personally answers 24 hour calls over two telephones- one for assistance and the other for fire emergencies. He has different composures, voices and rules for each. The cranks who phone him for money are old drunken, ugly spinsters, none too clean or honorable town 'handymen,' and his father, the famous Senator Rosewater; whom seeing his son, shrieks at God, for having handed him this vale of tears. Elliott drinks too much, cannot father an heir and has driven his otherwise loving wife to a arsonist's breakdown. She torched the Fire Company.
Eliott has no grand plan of philanthropy, not even a cause, unless the volunteer firemen and their work count. He has a quasi Buddhist detachment from hatred as well as wealth and status. Plenty of people, especially the evil Norman Mushari, are out to filch his millions and crucify his reputation in the meantime.

The book examines the Rosewater mutation whereby every couple of generations, a male is born with no aspiration. No desire to scratch and claw or otherwise greedily grasp power from others.
Vonnegut's thematic puncturing of capitalism, European fatuousness and the nature of success and failure is showcased with the also unseemly nature of the non-wealthy and unsuccessful. Mushari goes face to face with the God of most of Vonnegut's cosmology- Kilgore Trout, science fiction writer.
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