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12 April 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday at the age of 84 from complications of a fall. And nothing to do with smoking, even though he referred to it as a form of sure but gradual suicide. Vonnegut is one of the heroes of my adolescence. Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and especially Slaughterhouse Five were all cultural beacons that led me out of the haze of the 1950s into my teenage years and enlightenment.

Thanks to Alix and Julie for alerting me to this. The obituary was not even in the Guardian today although it is now on the "latest" website:
Vonnegut's writing career spanned more than half a century and saw him
produce 14 novels (many of which were bestsellers) as well as dozens of short
stories, essays and plays. He ranged from the conventional science fiction of
his 1963 novel, Cat's Cradle (which hangs around the discovery of "ice-nine", a
substance with the properties of water but which is solid at room temperature)
to the satirical Breakfast of Champions (1973) and the semi-autobiographical
Slaughterhouse-Five, the catalyst for which was his own experience as a soldier
with the US 106th Infantry Division and as a prisoner of war during world war

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