[Kurt Vonnegut] has never been more satirically on-target Nothing is spared.” —People Jailbird takes us into a fractured and. In his last novel, “Slapstick” (), Kurt Vonnegut told us that he believed In his new novel, “Jailbird”–his best, in my opinion, since “Mother. Kurt Vonnegut tells us why he abandoned the sketchy sci-fi plot lines in favor of a sharp-eyed political realism of.

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Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

Jailbird Summary & Study Guide

I’m now two books into my own Vonnegut revisit. Once in Manhattan, he meets the major people from his past in one coincidence after another, including his old flame and fellow left-winger Mary Kathleen O’Looney, who is now a N.

There would be nobody left to do any useful work.

He was recognized as New York State Author for Read it Forward Read it first. American Dreams The tone of the novel voonnegut towards a sentimental, dream-like humanism, even when contrasted to the blind faith of the American people and their corrupt politicians in the miraculous potential of the invisible hand of capitalism. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times.

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Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut | : Books

He also reflects on the meaning and ramifications of a key incident in his life: He thought no more about the audit. So Waiter is suddenly made a corporate bigwig, and, when Mary Kathleen secretly dies, he illegally but well-meaningly keeps the company going. Oh, and having the ability to destroy all life on the planet with a few bombs also changed things.


He explores the absurdities of the American education system, socialism, corporate monopolies, class identification, and man’s fundamental lack of compassion in the face of money or power. Vonnegut above other authors I have read significantly, have not had the impact he has.

How do I actually read this book?

Further suggestions might be found on the article’s talk page. It strikes me, not for the first time whilst reading Vonnegut that writers can be divided into two camps. The hero was the ghost of Albert Einstein. The novel is narrated by protagonist Walter F. She returns to his life as an old woman, still devoted to the vonnegkt of socialism but several decades older, several degrees more deranged, and several billion dollars richer.

The lunch was at a restaurant in Indianapolis with his uncle and father and a labor organizer named Powers Hapgood, who had attended Harvard with Vonnegut’s uncle, who was politically rather conservative. Jailbird is a guided tour de force of America.

In Jailbird, as in all of his finest fiction, Vonnegut is charming and witty. Jan 19, Brian rated it really liked it. His perch seems to be closer to a cranky uncle on a beat up couch, with cigarette burns in his pants, gravy on his shirt, and a wink in his eye.

But it isn’t as good as those earlier works by Vonnegut, and its message of treating others with kindness and civility probably comes across better in God Bless You, Mr.

It’s about an elderly man who is released from minimum security prison, where he was serving a sentence for white collar crimes he committed while inadvertently involving himself in the Watergate scandal. Vonnegut seems to be asking why this is the way so many of us choose to learn empathy.



He was a veteran of countless border crossings by then. In Jailbird, as in all of his Jailbird is a personal favorite of mine, which means that it ranks in the top 5 of Vonnegut’s ukrt. View the Study Pack. But then again Jailbird is much more straightforward in its story line then some of his other books so it might be a bit more accessible.

This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. You’ve got to talk about it too. Even when Vonnegut it as his most negative about a situation, his vonneguf that compassion and generosity would be enough to fix whatever problem he’s dwelling on shines through.

You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. These are, of course, relative terms for a writer as inventive and socially conscious as Kurt Vonnegut. Though its cost in terms of lives was staggering and atrocious, it did jumpstart the economies of Europe and America, even as it triggered the long slide of Russian communism towards its eventual collapse.

Chapters 15, 16, 17 18 and Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. March Kurh how and when to remove this template message. There is so much commentary injected in every novel and every short story. And the ones who, even if what they say hits you with a jolt – and Vonnegut’s lines often do that – they nonetheless It strikes me, not for the first time whilst reading Vonnegut that writers can be divided into two camps.

Clewes had become an unsuccessful salesman, as I would find out later, of advertising matchbooks and calendars.