A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut

“Do you realize that all great literature – Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, A Farewell to Arms, The Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage, The Iliad and the Odyssey, Crime and Punishment, The Bible, and the Charge of the Light Brigade  – are all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? (Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?)

Like last year, I’m starting with Vonnegut. His bio in the back of this book reads ‘Kurt Vonnegut is among the very few grandmasters of American letters, one without whom the very term American literature would mean much less than it does.”

That about sums it up. This book is a collection of essays reflecting on life in an America governed by George W. Bush. It’s unabashedly political and runs the gamut from fossil fuels to the commercialization of war to the value of the arts and so on. I can’t think of many other authors who could shred corporate America so with such nonchalant authority. If you’ve read any other Vonnegut, this book should seem pretty familiar. I have one other book of his in my stack, and I’m going to save it for later in the month, when I need some of that familiarity.

Books read: 1


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