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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: 13.3 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“[Vonnegut] at his wildest best.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A brilliantly funny satire on almost everything.”—Conrad Aiken

“[Vonnegut was] our finest black humorist. . . . We laugh in self-defense.”—The Atlantic Monthly

From the Publisher

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is a comic masterpice. Eliot Rosewater, drunk, volunteer fireman, and president of the fabulously rich Rosewater foundation, is about to attempt a noble experiment with human nature... with a little help from writer Kilgore Trout. The result is Vonnegut's funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal of the greed, hypocrisy, and follies of the flesh we are all heir to. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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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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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By Michael Battaglia on Sept. 12 2002
Format: Paperback
There was something in Vonnegut's first rush of books that is lacking in his later novels. Although I enjoy his later books and for the life of me I can't say what this mystery quality is, whatever it is it tends to elevate even his minor books into affairs that are far more memorable than they tend to be. Maybe because the themes and images he's using here were new to him and he was still comparitively young . . . I don't know. It's not for me to say. This novel has a simple premise and a simple plot and moves unsurprisingly from point A to point B and yet I still have an incredibly enjoyable experience reading it, even though I finished it basically on my lunch break over the course of maybe an hour and a half. The premise then is that Eliot Rosewater has a lot of love to give to the world and spends most of his time doing very nice things for people who are almost pathetic enough to not deserve it, simply because he was born rich and feels he has a lot to give to the world. A lawyer, meanwhile wishes to prove that he is insane and has it in him to make quite the case. The book basically waffles back and forth between the lives of the various people Eliot helps, the comically depressing lives of some of these people, a little Rosewater family history and the lawyer's attempt to gather information on Eliot's apparent insanity. All of these pieces don't cohere into the great whole that his absolute best books (like Slaughterhouse-Five) do, but the pieces themselves are great fun and Vonnegut's humanity has never been as apparent here. It doesn't have the grim central event like the bombing of Dresden to put everything in context but somehow he manages to make the book moving and hilarious at the same time.Read more ›
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