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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel [Paperback]

Kurt Vonnegut
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Sept. 8 1998

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. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is Kurt Vonnegut’s funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal of the greed, hypocrisy, and follies of the flesh we are all heir to.


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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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not his best, but it's clearly Vonnegut April 11 2003
By Jeni P
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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5.0 out of 5 stars another hit for vonnegut Aug. 19 2003
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Pearls Before Swine Dec 26 2002
By g4cube
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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2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing Dec 18 2002
By S. Bell
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Never Out of Date Nov. 12 2002
By L. Dann
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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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars eccentric, naive, and often rather dull
After greatly enjoying some Vonnegut sci-fi, I was perhaps looking for the wrong thing with this book. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by Robert J. Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2002 by Michael Battaglia
4.0 out of 5 stars short and to the...well...not the point...but something
vonnegut is addictive
his choice little phrases, and witty little quips, make well worth, reading a book which is not to par with his others. Read more
Published on April 24 2002 by "tonetwelve"
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
This isn't one of Vonnegut's best, but like every other Vonnegut book I have read, it is extremely entertaining and fun to read. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by "devilm"
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Vonnegut's best, but a good book.
GOD BLESS YOU MR. ROSEWATER was a fun book to read bit it went nowhere! Until I got to the last I was waiting for something exciting to happen, but that excitement never came. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by Rudy Horn
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Vonnegut's best, but a good book.
GOD BLESS YOU MR. ROSEWATER was a fun book to read bit it went nowhere! Until I got to the last I was waiting for something exciting to happen, but that excitement never came. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by Rudy Horn
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