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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Vonnegut book, and I've read 12 of them...
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...
Published on Jan. 30 2007 by W. Dravenstadt

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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
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...
Published on April 11 2003 by Jeni P


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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 (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Vonnegut book, and I've read 12 of them..., Jan. 30 2007
By 
W. Dravenstadt "Wes" (SC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
By 
Jared M. Thomasson (OIklahoma City, OK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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
This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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
This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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 (Tallahassee, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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 "adhdmom" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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. The book is part of the canon of this icon of an author and as such, I recommend it highly to one and all. The time when I first read it, was a time when I still found drunks a riot and even the smallest attack upon the status quo enormously satisfying. We are no longer that naive and yet the lessons and the funniness of just about everything can never be dated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, Sept. 13 2002
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This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (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. The plot of course is slight and it's a fairly direct book, though the ending is about as abrupt as can be (and is mentioned in a later Vonnegut book I think, fortunately I forgot about it). This won't ever be regarded as one of his classics but even a minor work by an author working at his peak is worth another look and while the rewards here may not be as grand, they're simple and pleasant in their own small way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars short and to the...well...not the point...but something, April 24 2002
By 
"tonetwelve" (poughkeepsie, ny) - See all my reviews
This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (Paperback)
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.
it is not that this is a bad book, for by no means is it.
it is written in his typical manner, running little plot fragments back and forth, and casually waxing on about mild side threads...which i personally find to be one of my favourite things about his writing, the attention to details, however trivial they may seem.
kilgore trout features into this book a little bit, and samples of his writings are present as well
fun fun stuff
but, read other vonnegut before taking this one on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work, April 12 2002
By 
"devilm" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel (Paperback)
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. If you haven't read Vonnegut before you would do well to start with one of his better books and then come back to this one if you like his style.
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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut (Paperback - Sept. 8 1998)
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