All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
1) Cat's Cradle. Bokonon rules or doesn't/may always be my Pokemon trainer's name.
2) Slaughterhouse-Five. Yeah I know, it's the cliche, but the emotional weight that book carries should never be overlooked. And its underlying statement is one of the most powerful things ever.
3) The Sirens of Titan. DISAPPEARING DOG.
4) Galapagos. My second favorite apocalypse, only because it doesn't end in thumbing one's nose at the sky. Ghosts whine too much ;) The San Francisco Giants 2013 Season* Get used to it.
5) Breakfast of Champions. Like I already said, this book is just one upward rising action, and truly an interesting exercise in perspectives. Goodbye Blue Monday has stuck with me for quite some time. And it's a fun bar down the street! :D
6) God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. This book is about optimism and changing your life because, fuck it. Do it. I think it's better than any self-help book or cult ever. Also, as far as Vonnegut's in-universe goes, it's the glue that makes everything else work. It's that important.
7) Mother Night. Probably the most understated of his works, but I think it has an interesting dialog about truth, service, and when it comes down to it, it's the most transparent moral moment Vonnegut has as an author. We are who we pretend to be. Think about that for a moment. Also I'm a Jew, so I don't know if that had much to do with that sticking with me but I think it certainly helped.
8) Timequake. Reflective of an entire career. I just really appreciate the way it approaches depression.
9) Hocus Pocus. I almost feel like this in many ways this novel is lost to time given its glance at Japanese and US relations/tensions that simply no longer exist in the same way. I like the examination of class which is usually a subject not properly covered by Vonnegut material. A solid book, if not mindblowin'
10) Bluebeard. Human beings sure are conflicted. Hey there seems to be a them here. What I like about this one is, due the subject matter (lol ART) it kind of literally pairs the ugly and the beautiful. It's a good read, but again, not THE best either.
11) Player Piano. DRAGONS? DRAGONS ARE FANTASY. IF THERE'S MAGICAL TALISMANS… OR A MAGIC SWORD… OR WIZARDS… OR FUCKING CRAZY NOT REAL ANIMALS, ALL THESE BASIC THINGS THAT BREAK THE LAWS OF REALITY, THAT SHIT'S ALL FANTASY. I'M INTO HARD SCI-FI. FANTASY'S BULLSHIT.
12) Slapstick. Slapstick's interesting because it's almost in a way a companion piece to his entire catalog from the middle point. It's not quite the young and earnest look at loneliness like that of Billy Pilgrim, and it's not quite the aged Vonnegut peering backwards from Timequake. It's also kinda like jazz. I feel like this has the most honest dialog about himself without necessarily being the exact purpose of the novel. I'm conflicted. I don't know if I love it or I'm bothered by it, because the positive spin on the apocalypse feels a bit forced. It feels a bit like a drunk playing sober if that makes sense.
13) Jailbird. Honestly, everything accomplished here will be surpassed by Hocus Pocus. I feel like grounding it too far in a reality that had played out in the public eye (rather than say the background of the firebombing of Dresden) cheapens it a bit. I'm not sure how it was received at the time when Watergate was a bit more fresh in everyone's mind, but I'd be curious to hear it.
14) Deadeye Dick. You remember when you used to stay over at a friend's house and you'd talk about bullshit after 4 am, and it ceased making sense hours ago? Well, Kurt Vonnegut was a genius, and this is what happens when a genius rambles nonsense. It's silly, I guess. The weird fixation on the neuter aspect kinda rubbed me the wrong way though. Dunno. Only one I never connected to. The Justin Christian of Vonnegut Novels.
So there you have it. There are few things in my life that have impacted me more than Kurt Vonnegut, and I'm glad you're all members of my karass.