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Deadeye Dick [Paperback]

Kurt Vonnegut
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £9.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

10 Jan 1982
Deadeye Dick is Kurt Vonnegut’s funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors—a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb—Rudy Waltz, aka Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that makes us rethink what we believe . . . and who we say we are.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (10 Jan 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385334176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385334174
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer, lecturer and painter. He was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. During WWII, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired Slaughterhouse Five. 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. He died in 2007.

Product Description

About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. During WWII, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired Slaughterhouse Five. He died in 2007. (2002-10-18) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Further insights into the human condition 11 July 2005
By R. B
Format:Paperback
Kurt Vonnegut's ability to interweave characters and experiences and his ability to quantify throw away events does little to mask his genius. His books should be read in as few sittings as possible if only to ensure a thread of narrative isn't dismissed as superfluous storytelling. In Dead Eye Dick, Kurt explores the loss of innocence. The act that initiates the narrators loss ensures redemption is only a flight of fancy. Kurt's ability to create a perfect narrative arc places the titles main event after the reader has inadvertently judged the main character by the preceding narrative. The double homicide leading to the narrators association with the books title is horrific and tragic in equal measure. Kurt explores the structure of unfortunate associations and out of date political ideals and blends with the act of childish curiosity to rustle up a series of truly unfortunate events. The horrific event has the ability to reach out and change all associated with the main character. Kurt uses pin sharp satire and the blackest of humour across a wide range of supplementary characters and events to illustrate a gamut of sociological and psychological oddities. Each character in the book comes with a complete insight into their character. The characters are inventive and highly individual, opportunities to characterize another viewpoint is never wasted, from the Haitian voodoo priest hotelier to the amphetamine ravaged first love, all come with there stories to tell and lessons to learn. Kurt's books always fill the reader with a sense of optimism, whether it be from gained enlightenment or from the gentle reminders to ensure life does ebb away with the routine actions of every day working life. To ensure we are not living out the epilogue of a great story before the great story was told.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Deadeye Dick is a novel only Kurt Vonnegut could have written – quirky, strange, thought-provoking, and a little bit depressing. The story of Deadeye Dick and his family is not a happy one. Rudy Waltz acquires his unusual nickname at the age of twelve by accidentally killing a woman in his hometown, but the whole story starts well before Rudy was even born. His father was supposedly a promising artist, or at least his own mother thought so, but he and his painting tutor did little more than travel around getting drunk and carousing with women of ill repute; after the tutor was exposed as a sham, Otto Waltz went to Austria to study in the years before the Great War; his lack of talent forbade him entry to the Academy, and he developed a friendship with another failed artist who later became chancellor of the Third Reich. This association with Hitler and some of his ideas would come back to haunt Otto in the 1940s. Rudy was Otto’s second son, and on the day when his father bestowed upon him the key to the gun room, Rudy took a rifle up to the top of the cupola at his family’s most unusual residence, fired it randomly, and unknowingly shot a pregnant woman right between the eyes while she was vacuuming – thus did Rudy receive the nickname Deadeye Dick. His father insisted on making a production about how everything was his fault, and life would never be the same again for the dysfunctional Waltz family. They lost everything, and life got little better as Rudy matured. The story of Deadeye Dick and his family goes on to include such events as a decapitation, a death by chimney (it was made of radioactive cement), and the eventual death of everyone in the whole town by way of an accidental neutron bomb explosion. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still Relevant, Still important 19 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved reading this and read it incredibly quickly in just a couple of sittings. The novel relates the story of Rudy Waltz, his bizarre family (parents like the living dead, brother who is always on the lookout for the next ex-wife) and the town they live in. The town itself, Midtown, is as much a character and a commentary on the state of American life as any of the people in the book. Rudy, who has accidentally killed a pregnant woman whilst still a child himself, has to come to terms with himself, his guilt and the opinions of his community about him. There are some really powerful scenes in here - the descriptions of police brutality and innocence awakened were brilliant; as were the matters pertaining to America's gun laws - but dealt with so deftly, with such a comic touch. Like all Vonnegut, the more comedy there is in a scene, the greater the tragedy it is trying to portray. I noted that one reviewer has said that this feels a little dated now due to the Cold War references in the book - I can't agree I'm afraid. Governments STILL have this dreadful tendency to dismiss ordinary people as unimportant, as possessing lives "so boring and ungifted and small time that they could be slain by the tens of thousands without inspiring any long-term regrets on the part of anyone." One only has to look at what's going on in the world and how disposable the populace seems to be in Governments' eyes (think those little girls abducted from school in Nigeria and the government fails to act for days and days; a Turkish mine disaster because government don't care enough to insist on the correct safety procedures; the Russians' manipulation of the populace in the Ukraine in order to regain territory - and that's just to cite three examples which spring readily to mind). Read more ›
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