A Man without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut recently passed away, and we’ll miss his acerbic wit and hard-hitting whimsy, in evidence here in this 2005 collection of essays.  The author of such works as Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle doesn’t disappoint here, and playfully jabs at any and all hindrances to common sense.  He Vonnegut addresses politicians and their penchant for mass indignities, and challenges the human race to look beyond its unnecessary shortcomings.   

Vonnegut easily intertwines humor and rage, and often reveals aspects of American life that we overlook.  And not all of his work is full of ire; he is quick to laud the quiet moments and the simple  “farting around” of the human experience.  Some of his vision is a bit jolting, almost scary, but he always seems to counterbalance it with something to laugh at.  The book is a quick read (140 pages, with bigger than usual typeface). 

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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