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Rudy Waltz (aka “Deadeye Dick”) is the lead in this latter day Vonnegut novel. Waltz, our protagonist, moves through the book trying to make sense of a life that is rife with disaster; there is a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, the total annihilation of a city by nuclear holocaust and, believe it or not, more. Waltz, a diarist, becomes symbolic of a person living a fraught post-technological life in which frailty is as likely to be a person’s undoing as any bomb.

Waltz finally reaches the point of resignation; a realization and understanding that there are things that are just beyond our control and understanding that make all human motive, ambition, and circumstance absolutely irrelevant. Waltz’s search for meaning leads him ultimately to a kind of resignation which ought not be confused with understanding of any kind, for it is not. It is simple resignation.

It is this theme of Vonnegut’s--the impossibility of trying to live meaningfully in a meaningless world--that is ultimately central to this novel. Rudy Waltz (like some of Vonnegut’s other protagonists, Billy Pilgrim or Howard Campbell) is ultimately only a stand-in for Vonnegut himself who is really narrating for us as the lead witness and character here--the philosopher who is telling us why and what for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) is one of the most beloved American writers of the twentieth century. Vonnegut’s audience increased steadily since his first five pieces in the 1950s and grew from there. His 1968 novel Slaughterhouse-Five has become a canonic war novel with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 to form the truest and darkest of what came from World War II.

Vonnegut began his career as a science fiction writer, and his early novels--Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan--were categorized as such even as they appealed to an audience far beyond the reach of the category. In the 1960s, Vonnegut became closely associated with the Baby Boomer generation, a writer on that side, so to speak.

Now that Vonnegut’s work has been studied as a large body of work, it has been more deeply understood and unified. There is a consistency to his satirical insight, humor and anger which makes his work so synergistic. It seems clear that the more of Vonnegut’s work you read, the more it resonates and the more you wish to read. Scholars believe that Vonnegut’s reputation (like Mark Twain’s) will grow steadily through the decades as his work continues to increase in relevance and new connections are formed, new insights made.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Author Kurt Vonnegut is considered by most to be one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His books Slaughterhouse-Five (named after Vonnegut’s World War II POW experience) and Cat’s Cradle are considered among his top works. RosettaBooks offers here a complete range of Vonnegut’s work, including his first novel (Player Piano, 1952) for readers familiar with Vonnegut’s work as well as newcomers.

Published: RosettaBooks on Aug 21, 1982
ISBN: 9780795319013
List price: $8.99
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Another example why I don't understand German translations of book and film titles. Although Rudy is frequently referred to as Deadeye Dick throughout the book they somehow thought it necessary to change the title.Like other books by Kurt Vonnegut, it looks like the author has a pessimistic view on the future of American society and the world as a whole. Some of the characters from Deadeye Dick also appear in Breakfast of Champions, one of my favourite books by him. Another parallel is the environmental pollution and destruction present in both books. Although in this book this dark premonition on ecological destruction clearly escalates with the detonation of the neutron bomb over Midland City. Aside from the bizarr story I also liked how some parts were written as a theatre scene (somehow reminden me of Tennesse Williams, don't know why) and the recipes strewn in for good measure.I also love the unconventional little phrases that are so typical for Vonnegut. In this book it was him describing being born as a peephole opening.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It had plenty of the dark humor, wit, and satire that you come to expect from Vonnegut. It didn't really break any new ground. We have a society that places a lot of importance on war, violence, and weapons. This isn't anything too shocking. It was funny. I give it four stars for being well-written, but I can't give it that fifth star because it wasn't a book that will be that memorable for me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I always have pretty high expectations for Vonnegut novels. Unfortunately, this one fell far below my 'standards bar'. It wasn't fresh or exciting. Not super funny or witty either. I gave it two stars because it was easy to read and the story was kind of interesting.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I do love Vonnegut, but I'm starting to feel like I've read enough of him. The redeeming quality of his writing for me is the humor. I don't usually really care much about his plots, and they're often difficult to really follow anyway. But he makes the best tongue in cheek jokes out there.That said, I'm starting to feel like he's a one trick pony. Or really, maybe closer to something like a four trick pony. Regardless of the number of his tricks, I am growing a little bored with them. I'm sure I'll keep reading them but I don't really get out of them the same amount of amusement as I used to.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The best Vonnegut? Not for me. But even second tier Vonnegut is better than most things out there.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was my first foray into Vonnegut's work, and it won't be my last. His humor is not over the top, but it's not so subtle that you feel silly if you don't get it. I really enjoyed the meandering nature of the story, it gave me the feeling that Rudy probably had about his life: that there really was no rhyme or reason, he was just drifting along.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The death of innocence and a neutron bomb. And accidental childhood manslaughter. 80's era KV.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Another example why I don't understand German translations of book and film titles. Although Rudy is frequently referred to as Deadeye Dick throughout the book they somehow thought it necessary to change the title.Like other books by Kurt Vonnegut, it looks like the author has a pessimistic view on the future of American society and the world as a whole. Some of the characters from Deadeye Dick also appear in Breakfast of Champions, one of my favourite books by him. Another parallel is the environmental pollution and destruction present in both books. Although in this book this dark premonition on ecological destruction clearly escalates with the detonation of the neutron bomb over Midland City. Aside from the bizarr story I also liked how some parts were written as a theatre scene (somehow reminden me of Tennesse Williams, don't know why) and the recipes strewn in for good measure.I also love the unconventional little phrases that are so typical for Vonnegut. In this book it was him describing being born as a peephole opening.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It had plenty of the dark humor, wit, and satire that you come to expect from Vonnegut. It didn't really break any new ground. We have a society that places a lot of importance on war, violence, and weapons. This isn't anything too shocking. It was funny. I give it four stars for being well-written, but I can't give it that fifth star because it wasn't a book that will be that memorable for me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I always have pretty high expectations for Vonnegut novels. Unfortunately, this one fell far below my 'standards bar'. It wasn't fresh or exciting. Not super funny or witty either. I gave it two stars because it was easy to read and the story was kind of interesting.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I do love Vonnegut, but I'm starting to feel like I've read enough of him. The redeeming quality of his writing for me is the humor. I don't usually really care much about his plots, and they're often difficult to really follow anyway. But he makes the best tongue in cheek jokes out there.That said, I'm starting to feel like he's a one trick pony. Or really, maybe closer to something like a four trick pony. Regardless of the number of his tricks, I am growing a little bored with them. I'm sure I'll keep reading them but I don't really get out of them the same amount of amusement as I used to.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The best Vonnegut? Not for me. But even second tier Vonnegut is better than most things out there.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was my first foray into Vonnegut's work, and it won't be my last. His humor is not over the top, but it's not so subtle that you feel silly if you don't get it. I really enjoyed the meandering nature of the story, it gave me the feeling that Rudy probably had about his life: that there really was no rhyme or reason, he was just drifting along.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The death of innocence and a neutron bomb. And accidental childhood manslaughter. 80's era KV.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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