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Armageddon in Retrospectby Kurt Vonnegut
Synopses & Reviews
The first and only collection of unpublished works by Kurt Vonnegut since his death — a fitting tribute to the author, and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace, and humanity's tendency toward violence.
Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new and unpublished writings on war and peace. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humor, the pieces range from a visceral nonfiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden during World War II — an essay that is as timely today as it was then — to a painfully funny short story about three Army privates and their fantasies of the perfect first meal upon returning home from war, to a darker, more poignant story about the impossibility of shielding our children from the temptations of violence.
Also included are Vonnegut's last speech, as well as an assortment of his artwork, and an introduction by the author's son, Mark Vonnegut. Armageddon in Retrospect says as much about the times in which we live as it does about the genius of the writer.
"When Kurt Vonnegut died in April 2007, the world lost a wry commentator on the human condition. Thanks to this collection of unpublished fiction and nonfiction, Vonnegut's voice returns full force. Introduced by his son, these writings dwell on war and peace, especially the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. The volume opens with a poignant 1945 letter from Pfc. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to his father in Indianapolis, presenting a vivid portrait of his harrowing escape from that city. The fiction, full of his characteristic humor, includes stories about time travel and the impossibility of peace in the world ('Great Day') and, in the title piece, a kind of mock Paradise Lost, Dr. Lucifer Mephisto teaches his charges about the insidious nature of evil and the impossibility of good ever triumphing. In his final speech, Vonnegut lets go some of his zingers (jazz is 'safe sex of the highest order') and does what he always did best, tell the truth through jokes: 'And how should we behave during the Apocalypse? We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot. And get a dog, if you don't already have one.' So it goes." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Readers of Vonnegut's books won't find any surprises here, but because he is at his sardonic best when working in short form, they won't be let down by his humor and poignancy, either. Recommended." Library Journal
"[A]n uneven posthumous collection....In places, we hear that unique, vigorous voice; in others, only the sad but certain echo of 'nothing gold can stay.'" Kirkus Reviews
"Not the best introduction to Vonnegut, but certainly fascinating for his countless fans." Booklist
"Vonnegut's Armageddon in Retrospect is drenched in irony and satire. The 12 previously unpublished short stories and essays mostly are about the senselessness of war, some more so than others." USA Today
"Armageddon in Retrospect...displays Vonnegut at his inimitable best: a blending of humor and trenchant social commentary implied through story and character." Seattle Times
"This new collection...shows him at his best and worst. The satiric parables seem obvious and strained, but when he creates characters who suffer and question the world around them, he's at his best." Providence Journal
The first and only collection of unpublished works by Kurt Vonnegut since his death is a fitting tribute to the author and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace, and humanity's tendency toward violence.
Unabridged CDs ? 8 CDs, 10 hours
The first and only collection of unpublished works by Kurt Vonnegut since his death?a fitting tribute to the author, and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace, and humanity?s tendency toward violence.
The New York Times bestseller-a "gripping" posthumous collection of previously unpublished work by Kurt Vonnegut on the subject of war.
A fitting tribute to a literary legend and a profoundly humane humorist, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve previously unpublished writings on war and peace. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humor and outraged moral sense, the pieces range from a letter written by Vonnegut to his family in 1945, informing them that he'd been taken prisoner by the Germans, to his last speech, delivered after his death by his son Mark, who provides a warmly personal introduction to the collection. Taken together, these pieces provide fresh insight into Vonnegut's enduring literary genius and reinforce his ongoing moral relevance in today's world.
About the Author
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922April 11, 2007), was a writer, lecturer, and painter. First published in 1950, he went on to write fourteen novels, four plays, and three short story collections, in addition to countless works of short fiction and nonfiction.
Mark Vonnegut is a son of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. He is a pediatrician and the author of a memoir, The Eden Express.
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