Look at the Birdie, Kurt Vonnegut

lookatthebirdie

“A lot of people have asked me if she really looks as tough as her picture on the back of her book.”

Kurt Vonnegut is always a good idea. Look at the Birdie is a collection of short stories published after his death, which is interesting because at book club last week Arielle and I chatted about the ethics of posthumous publishing. We didn’t really reach a conclusion, which is for the best because I don’t think I would be okay with this book not existing. A lot of Vonnegut’s work was published after his death in a variety of collections, and I want to read all of it. Ethics aside, selfishness wins the day. I want to read every word you ever wrote, Kurt Vonnegut. I want all of them for myself.

This collection is great. Pure Vonnegut, the whole way through (and as always, I can’t help but write Vonnegut over and over). He was a master craftsman, and I’m sure with another readthrough or ten I would discover the intricacies that went into constructing these stories. In particular, I loved “The Nice Little People” and “The Petrified Ants” – there’s something about how Vonnegut wove realism together with science fiction, without giving over fully to the latter, that will always satisfy me. It’s like hanging out with a very wise and weird old friend. Vonnegut, Vonnegut, Vonnegut.

Books read: 1

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