Fates Worse Than Death: An Autobiographical Collage of the 1980's Hardcover – Aug 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
These 21 essays, combining personal recollections and political reiterations, lack a unifying theme; they are likely to disappoint even Vonnegut fans.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
This is a stimulating if rambling book of essays that discusses everything from the ugliness of the 1988 presidential campaign to male bonding in the stories of Ernest Hemingway. Maybe because Vonnegut has never hung around political speechwriters, he is pessimistic about the future of life on Earth and frankly nostalgic for the days when we were free of the certain knowledge that we would make this planet uninhabitable. Yet on the positive side, he sees in this country a decrease in racism (which he concedes may be only temporary). Some of the ideas here will be familiar to Vonnegut readers, such as the unnecessary bombing of Dresden or the now outrageous fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but all are offered in the hope of improving our chances at survival and often with disarming humor. Moralize, he tells young writers, but be sure to sound reader-friendly, like Cervantes rather than Cotton Mather. Recommended for most collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/91.
- Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Charleton Heston played Jesus with shaved armpits.
To describe our nation, he quotes Amos an' Andy, "De mess we's in"
Re: Thomas Jefferson's owning slaves- "It was as though he had an infected growth on the tip of his nose the size of a walnut and everyone thought that was OK."
When KV's father was dying he apologized for calling him 'Bozo.' Then about five minutes later he called him Bozo again.
Here are things that made my heart stop:
The average age of an American to die in Vietnam was 20. (My own son had just joined- against my wishes- the military, at 20.)
If Western Civilization were a person, we would be directing him to War Preparers Anonymous.
That's the kind of stuff you'll read in essays that are distressing and comforting and hilarious- if you know Vonnegut, you know what I'm saying. Personally, I like a bit more fiction, but as I said, I was purposed here, and I think you may be too.
Most recent customer reviews
You know how Jehovah's Witnesses are always handing out pamphlets to show you the glory of The Lord? Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2014 by David Burnham
These essays give us a rare look in to the mind of a genius. He expounds on subjects ranging from mental illness, family relationships, death and war. Read morePublished on July 29 2003 by Steven J. Drahozal
I prefer non-fiction works and this one from Vonnegut is very entertaining and presents his views of society and the world. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2001
I read this book a mere month ago, and it's idea and concepts still are freh in my mind. Vonnegut expressed himself the way he did 20 years ago. I absolutly loved this book. Read morePublished on April 4 2000 by starybabe
This is a great book for anyone who likes Kurt Vonnegut. If you enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five, you will enjoy hearing him recount stories about his experience in WWII, and also... Read morePublished on July 31 1999