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Thursday, June 25, 2015

ARMAGEDDON in RETROSPECT and OTHER NEW and UNPUBLISHED WRITINGS on WAR and PEACE by Kurt Vonnegut



Published in 2008.

This collection of short stories (and one letter and one rambling, but enjoyable,  speech) focuses on war and the folly of war. Many of the stories deal with World War II and prisoners of war, a theme echoed in Slaughterhouse-Five. 


The almost 40 foot tall mural of Vonnegut in
Indianapolis. 
The book begins with an entertaining introduction by Mark Vonnegut, Kurt's son followed by an astonishingly flippant letter from Kurt to his family telling them that he had been a prisoner of war since the Battle of the Bulge but now he was liberated and headed back to Indiana. The letter is actually reproduced as a picture so you can see it how he typed it on the stationary that he typed it. The letter is followed by the last speech he ever wrote, appropriately delivered in his hometown of Indianapolis by his son after Kurt Vonnegut's death.

The short stories are up and down, as all short stories collections are. But, Vonnegut's gift for creating interesting characters shines through most of them and I found myself invested in most of them in a very short time. Most have funny moments tossed in the middle of a great tragedy. Many feature prisoners of war, which is understandable considering Vonnegut's own experiences in World War II.

The book itself is a beautiful hardback made with the highest quality slick paper. Between the short stories there are drawings and quips from Vonnegut.

I rate this collection 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be purchased on Amazon here: Armageddon in Retrospect





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