This morning I awoke to the news that Kurt Vonnegut Jr has passed away due to head injuries sustained during a recent fall. This saddens me, especially since I will never be able to read a new Kurt Vonnegut story (unless they dig up some previously unreleased stuff). Even though he retired from writing novels in 1997 (after his novel Timequake), he did put out new stuff after his “retirement”.
I was introduced to Kurt Vonnegut in 1995 by I believe my friend SMooSH. Apparently my first read was “Welcome to the Monkey House”, which is a collection of short stories. Though it was the next novel “Breakfast of Champions” which showed me the quirky side of Vonnegut. He is one of the few authors that can tell you the ending of the book in the first chapter and make you want to read the book to find out how it happens. He is also the only author I’ve ever know who introduced his male characters by telling the reader the size of their penis (in Breakfast of Champions).
His wit and satire will surely be missed by anyone who has read anything by him. If you haven’t read any of his stuff you should get to it. His novels are ingenius, witty, quirky and relevant.
I’d suggest checking out “Breakfast of Champions” as your introduction to Vonnegut.