A Man Without A Country
I’m yet to read all of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, but I have to imagine A Man Without A Country is as much reality as Kurt Vonnegut ever used. Impressively, even with that fact no other novel he wrote ever seemed less poignant. This was the last of his books that were published while he was still living and, according to a statement he made in January of 2007, that was how intended it to be. He died three months later.
In reading this book you do get a sense that Vonnegut is saying goodbye to the world. It includes a range of short essays spanning topics such as the troubles with modern technology, styles of writing, contrasts between men and women, the value of humor and his belief that he is losing his skill in it. None of the topics seem to resonate above his speaking on the state of the world society and his opinions of American politics.
Written during the George W. Bush presidency there are regular mentions of war in the Middle East and the foolishness behind weapons of mass destruction. Despite which side of the coin you are on, whether you supported America’s being at war or not (Vonnegut leaves no question that he did not) I feel this is a valuable read. Vonnegut has always utilized a skill of making the complex simple and relevant. He does the same here but now does it with reality instead of the fantastic stories he would often weave.
Taking nothing away from the achievements of his earlier career, A Man Without A Country puts into context just how important of a voice Vonnegut was to his generation. It would be in the best interest of humanity if his voice resonates into the future.
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