This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©1965 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"[Vonnegut] at his wildest best!" (The New York Times Book Review)
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It's round and wet and crowded.
At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here.
There's only one rule that I know of, babies—
God damn it, you've got to be kind."
I've only got two big rules with my two babies. # 1 be happy, # 2 be kind. Everything else is negotable, babies.
It appears that Kurt Vonnegut independently arrived at the same conclusion. 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater' happens to be a fairly straight-forward novel about money and charity and kindness and sanity. Vonnegut's novel (subtitled 'Pearls before Swine') is about the Rosewater family and how they invest their efforts into a foundation as a means of keeping the government from taxing their money. The problem is Eliot Rosewater (the protagonist) ends up not caring much about money and being infinitely charitable and kind. This obviously is a form of insanity that either needs to be exploited (by lawyers) or protected (by family).
In some ways, in its heart, it reminds me of a simplified, satirized version of Dostoevsky's 'the Idiot'. When people are good, selfless, and caring in a world like the one we all live in, they must be stupid or a little nuts. They certainly aren't likely to survive.
I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
The Money Shot
Vonnegut has so many classic situations in his stories, that not only make you laugh but cry at the same time so its tough. But I would say when Rosewater comes to a moment of clarity at the end of the novel it really pulls the story together in a profound way. You may not like his response, but you must admit that it solidifies his narrative.
Rosewater. The images of him living day to day in squalor but being so happy and helping others was well done. "How Can We Help You"....terrific.
The woman who called Rosewater up every day was my favorite for some reason. She was the average person who struggles to deal with life, the fact that Rosewater took time for her sums up the treatise of the novel. The everyday contains magical qualities that can never be overlooked, being kind to people is always a good investment.
Its almost impossible to review Vonnegut, who is my view is the most over looked and under rated American novelist ever. He wrote some of the best books in the American literary tradition. This book, though dated in some respects is timeless in others. I can understand why some people don't like his work, but if you do you owe it to yourself to listen to this well produced thoughtful version.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
I think Kurt Vonnegut is one of the best authors of the 20th Century. Love his work although I would have to say this is not his best, it isn't bad either. I like his characters but the situation in this book is a little pedestrian for my liking.
The enjoyment is in the journey in this book. The ending isn't bad but nothing to 'knock your socks off'.
When you get into the characters thinking is when this book really excels.
Read another Kurt Vonnegut book, I recommend 'Slaughterhouse Five'.
Eric Michael Summerer is fantastic with his characters accents and personalities. Vonnegut's writing is excellent, but this book is not his best work. Listen to it as part of his complete works, not as an example.
Very good Vonnegut. An interesting and funny view of the insanity of over the top liberalism and conservatism. Great characters. Well read: appropriate voice changes by character which added humor.
Witty, Kooky, Interesting
I had to start the book twice, and really listen to catch the initial premise of the book, but I was glad I did. The story is a great look at the role of money and charity in our society. I love that Vonnegut is unafraid to show the silly, ridiculous, and sometime vulgar side of humanity to illustrate an actually beautiful idea.
A faster and deeper story line.
Nor of a novel than a story.
I had no problem with him
It was not absolutely horrible and it did have a nice twist to it.
I just couldn't get "into" this book. I wanted to try to read (listen) to my first Vonnegut novel to see why he is so popular. I really hated this book!
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
Another brilliant book by Vonnegut, this book is hysterical and complete satire on a rich family and the people they are associated with. All of which are pretty nutty in their own way.
"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed."
This book speaks perfectly to our times. Poor people "earn" money while rich people "make" money. Money is a fiction we all buy into, without realizing the game is rigged.
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