- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Seven Stories Press; 1 edition (Sept. 6 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158322713X
- ISBN-13: 978-1583227138
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.7 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #594,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Man Without a Country Hardcover – Sep 6 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In his first book since 1999, it's just like old times as Vonnegut (now 82) makes with the deeply black humor in this collection of articles written over the last five years, many from the alternative magazine In These Times. But the pessimistic wisecracks may be wearing thin; the conversational tone of the pieces is like Garrison Keillor with a savage undercurrent. Still, the schtick works fine most of the time, underscored by hand-lettered aphorisms between chapters. Some essays suffer from authorial self-indulgence, however, like taking a dull story about mailing a manuscript and stretching it to interminable lengths. Vonnegut reserves special bile for the "psychopathic personalities" (i.e., "smart, personable people who have no consciences") in the Bush administration, which he accuses of invading Iraq so America can score more of the oil to which we have become addicted. People, he says, are just "chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power." Of course, that's exactly the sort of misanthropy hardcore Vonnegut fans will lap up—the online versions of these pieces are already described as the most popular Web pages in the history of In These Times. (Sept.)
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About the Author
Born in 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, KURT VONNEGUT was one of the few grandmasters of modern American letters. Called by the New York Times “the counterculture’s novelist,” his works guided a generation through the miasma of war and greed that was life in the U.S. in second half of the 20th century. After a stints as a soldier, anthropology PhD candidate, technical writer for General Electric, and salesman at a Saab dealership, Vonnegut rose to prominence with the publication of Cat’s Cradle in 1963. Several modern classics, including Slaughterhouse-Five, soon followed. Never quite embraced by the stodgier arbiters of literary taste, Vonnegut was nonetheless beloved by millions of readers throughout the world. “Given who and what I am,” he once said, “it has been presumptuous of me to write so well.” Kurt Vonnegut died in New York in 2007.
From the eBook edition.
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That said, it was a quick, enjoyable read and had some good parts, especially about fictional structure. It would be about the last place I would start if new to Vonnegut, though.
*And by "old friend," I mean both one whom you have known for a long time and who is old.