Thursday, December 22, 2016

God Bless You, Mr Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

The following constitutes the minutes of the annual meeting of the Rosewater Foundation held Thursday 15 December 2016 on the estate of Eliot Rosewater, Rosewater, IN. Those present were requested to discuss the concept of pearls before swine, with relevance to the following points:
  • When did you first read a Kurt Vonnegut novel?
  • What worked in this 1965 story that would not work today? 
  • Why is it that every year some rich young man comes in to our Law Firm and wants to give all his money away? "Your travels are over, Space Wanderer!" ­ 
  • The works of Kilgore Trout.  
  • Re Norman Mushari of Cornell Law School: how does one certify that his tremendous ass was indeed luminous when bare? 
  • Poo-­tee-weet? 
  • How does God Bless You, Mr Rosewater lead into Slaughterhouse Five? 
An accurate transcription of the investors' comments follows.
       Respectively submitted,
                             The Law Firm of McAllister, Robjent, Reed, and McGee

Jack Farrell:  I had read Slaughterhouse Five previously.  Like SHF, this book was thought- provoking, involving issues associated with distribution of wealth;  The Father-Senator figure is an image since Roman times. It was tragic that the rewards for compassion and sharing was life in an insane asylum.  I highly recommend it:  A

Charlie:  these were cartoonish characters, in a satiric and dark view of all things, not a compassionate view.  B+

Bob Woods:  I was 14 when I first read Vonnegut.  I read lots of them and considered it almost science fiction, not a lot from the story.  This did not meet my expectations for a Vonnegut story.  I missed the point until the last chapter.  Not impressed.  B+

Kenny G:  This was my first Vonnegut book.  Since I thought the meeting was not until next week, I blasted through, Genoni-style.  I found it repetitious, I expected more humor.  I did not find it to be very humorous.  "... luminous ass" and the "banana thrust through a pineapple ring"  B+

Bob Simon:  I found it a fast read, I loved the dialogue.  Good at, raised some interesting points such as how rich people make a life for themselves when endowed with great riches.  I found the ending very unsatisfying and similar to Farewell to Arms by Hemingway.  B

Dick Jensen:  I have been reading Kristin Lavsransdatter, a Norwegian historical trilogy.  I read this Vonnegut after one-third of Kristin, and enjoyed it because everyone was crazy, and very tongue-in-cheek.  Giving to 53 kids, we create a multitude of lawsuits, Fred probably did not get anything.  A-

Keith:  Kurt Vonnegut would reply to our criticism by saying:  "I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous.  He or she is like a person who has put on full body armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split."  He loathed science, and his brother was a scientist.  The writing was rambling with islands of wisdom.  Does not know what he does not know.  B-

Dick Arms:  I had no problem with his character development, he had great characters.  Fred was a great character.  The high school girl selling porn.  But what is he trying to tell me?  I never resolved why did he write the book?  The ending was an enging that kept the money from going to Rhode Island part of the family.  A-

Tom Genoni:  It was a disappointing ending.  Preachy stuff - adolescent. Vonnegut:  "I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out - I am a fool."  There is a surreal fel throughout the book.  Would not recommend it.  B

Mike B:  This is the first time I have read this book since 1965.  I read a lot of sci-fi then; now, as a more discerning reader, I find that I enjoyed this more than Slaughterhouse Five, except for the catch phrase, "So it goes."  SH5 was an anti-war book written at the height of the Vietnam War.  I really liked the Fred character, trying to sell life insurance.  There was a great deal more plots and things going on, and it was fun and cartoonish.  I would recommend it.  B+

no comments submitted from outside of Rosewater, IN.