Kurt Vonnegut died. Like many nerdly types, I devoured his novels in junior high. Hell, I even got a teacher to let me use BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS for a class project, and I remember drawing assholes on the chalkboard in front of the class.
While he is understandably lauded for CAT’S CRADLE and SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, my two favorite Vonnegut novels are ones that don’t receive the same attention: THE SIRENS OF TITAN, which, for my money, is easily his most clever and nihilistic, and MOTHER NIGHT, a remarkably touching tale with the amazingly… true phrase, “We are what we pretend to be.”
I was pleased to see how mentally agile Vonnegut remained as he aged. His appearance on The Daily Show a couple years back (where Jon couldn’t contain his fanboyness) delighted.
Though, for those of us who idolized him, I find this story of Justin Hall’s very grounding. Vonnegut, at least in 1995, reviled computer-mediated communication, and didn’t see it’s remarkable potential for bringing people together. Nobody’s perfect.