- Jan 4, 2004
It is about time I read more Vonnegut. I've only read Slaughterhouse Five, and that was over a year ago. Is there any order I should read them in? Which ones are definitely his best?
I'm currently reading, Welcome to the monkey house, a collection of short stories A good read for any short story lovers. I have an original Venus on the half-shell. It was a spoof book and I believed it was the real thing. It has lovely green page edges. The more recent publication has Farmer's name on the cover. It is a sf comedy, a sort of flesh Gordon meets Hitchhikers Guide.What I really need to read is Venus on the Half-Shell by Philip Jose Farmer writing as Kilgore Trout.
I wonder if Douglas Adams was influenced by Vonnegut?I'm currently reading, Welcome to the monkey house, a collection of short stories A good read for any short story lovers. I have an original Venus on the half-shell. It was a spoof book and I believed it was the real thing. It has lovely green page edges. The more recent publication has Farmer's name on the cover. It is a sf comedy, a sort of flesh Gordon meets Hitchhikers Guide.
I thought the whole Ice Nine concept in the Cat's Cradle quit nasty.I've read a lot of Vonnegut. Some of it was excellent, some was hard-going. I wouldn't say there was any preferred reading order, however, if you have never read Cat's Cradle before then that is obviously top of the list.
Futher:Other funny writers, of whom the chief is P.G. Wodehouse, who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest-ever users of the English language -- he's sort of the Mozart of the English language, I think. I particularly admire funny writers, because I know how incredibly difficult it is. Evelyn Waugh is very high up there, and Jane Austen. People have this idea that humor is in some way a sort of lesser emotion, which I don't accept at all. I think that good, funny writing is amongst the finest writing of any type, which is why I think that Wodehouse is one of the finest writers who ever lived.
I've lost the link to the full article.Vonnegut is another favorite of mine. I deliberately put him low on the list, though, because I get embarrassed by people trying to draw comparisons between him and me -- on one very, very superficial level, it's an easy comparison: he writes stuff that is a) funny, and b) uses science fiction to make its points, and I write stuff that is funny and uses science fiction to make its points.
But that's the only level of comparison. Vonnegut is essentially a deeply serious writer. Obviously a major part of his world view, if you like, comes from the experience he describes in Slaughterhouse Five of being a Prisoner of War in Dresden during the fire-bombing. And I don't have any experience like that to draw on, you know, nothing remotely approaching that.
So Vonnegut is essentially a deeply serious writer who uses comedy to make his points, and I am essentially a comic writer who occasionally tries to slip a point about something or other "under the counter," so to speak, and so from that point of view, I find the comparison embarrassing because he's a great writer, and I think I'm essentially a frivolous one, I'm afraid.
Great stuff Vince.Adams on his literary influences:
I've lost the link to the full article.