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4.3 out of 5 stars20
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 January 2014
This is a sharp but loving portrait, full of character and humour, of an imperfect America.

The story sees Eliot Rosewater squandering the profits on his fortune and slimy lawyer Norman Mushari wheedling to transfer those funds to Rosewater's impoverished rustic cousins (whilst inveigling a hefty commission for doing so!) To do this he must prove Eliot is insane, but when you have 87 million dollars, what is lunacy?

God Bless You, Mr Rosewater is a wonderful concise little story with a wry eye for the eccentricities of the super rich and a knowing wink to the delinquencies if the dirt poor, ending with a requisite twist that is beguiling and satisfying, and throughout retains the depth and intelligence of great literature.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 October 2013
This is in my opinion one of the better Kurt Vonnegut books, where he brings all the insight and razor sharp criticism of the (modern) US society to bear like Duerrenmatt does for Switzerland (Meine Schweiz.: Ein Lesebuch) or Ryu Murakami does for Japan (but without the latter's violence). The book is focused on an inherited fortune, the people living off it and those wanting by all means to acquire it.

You have mental instability, sleazy lawyers, parodies of the moneyed classes and generally an indictment of both inheritance as a mechanism and the mediocrity it often (though by no means always) breeds. Yet it is not a one sided tirade against the rich or an uncritical endorsement of those financially less fortunate - mediocrity is addressed irrespective of what social strata the subjects are from.

The book is also a typical Vonnegut in its writing style, which may well make it a love it or hate it piece of work. It has plenty of quotable lines, is funny as well as somewhat chilling in its occassional prescience, and it definitely draws you in, in spite of the wealth of disparate characters and nothing so conventional as a linear storyline.

I found the book similar in style to the author's Breakfast Of Champions (Vintage Classics) and am sure that everyone who liked that one cannot go wrong here. It certainly requires being able to take a critical look at oneself to truly enjoy but is definitely well worth it.
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on 20 May 2011
After reading Slaughterhouse 5 I became interested in other books by the same author and was lucky to stumble onto this book. It has a lot of the same elements from the previously mentioned book, but is also quite different, and I can say that it was an enjoyable read. Apart from a lot of joking and ridiculous humor there is also a good amount of insight into certain types of people and ongoing problems in society today. It reminded me a bit of Joseph Heller, but it wasn't as funny as Catch-22, for example. I thought the ending left a bit to be desired, and I wish he would have elaborated more on certain storylines, but I would say that this is definitely worth reading if you like the style.
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on 16 May 2003
This is Vonnegut's best book. (Ignore all the hype surrounding "Slaughterhouse Five", and you won't be disappointed.) There are more quotable lines here than in anything except Hamlet. It will make you laugh a lot - and cry too, very possibly. More than thirty years after I first read it, I still keep coming back. And I know parts of it by heart (without necessarily being word perfect!) It begins "A sum of money is a leading character in this story about human beings, just as a sum of honey might be a leading character in a story about bees..."
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on 5 October 1999
Vonnegut is less appreciated than he should be, that goes without saying. This is not one of his most famous books, but in its quiet modest way is nevertheless a masterpiece. Terrifying in its depiction of an America at odds with itself, desperately trying to (re)discover the true values of love, family and caring for one another... Read it! Then join the Volunteer Fire Department.... :)
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on 9 June 2014
Another great, satirical romp by the mighty Kurt Vonnegut. If, like me, your starting point for KV was Slaughterhouse 5 and you're on a mission to read as much of his output as possible, this is a must. If this is your starting point, it's still a must.

Its short page count is stuffed full of Vonnegut's typical quirky characters, razor-sharp wit and deft prose. A darkly humorous swipe at High Society and the wealth gap that works just as well today as it did, no doubt, at time of writing.
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on 4 July 2015
I’d been reading rather serious books and needed something humorous, so I got the Kindle edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. It’d been a while since I’d read Vonnegut. Years ago, I enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions, and Hocus Pocus. I also read Cat’s Cradle, but didn’t really go in for it. It was a little too sci-fi for me. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is good, but pretty out there. The beginning is highly structured and organized, but the narrative soon spins off into myriad tangents. At times the writing is practically psychedelic. Imagine if the album The Worst of Jefferson Airplane were a book. The story is a bit of a magic carpet ride. Consequently, it’s hard to say what Rosewater means: commentary on the oddball nature of capitalistic society? The apparent randomness and unfairness of the universe? Everyone will take away something different. It’s not as funny as Breakfast and, for me, not as deep as Hocus Pocus, but it’s still good – funny in places, nicely written, and – best of all – highly imaginative. And it was nice to read something quirky and relatively light. I hope to read more of Vonnegut in the future.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World along with War Torn: Adventures in the Brave New Canada.
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on 2 March 2014
It was a treat to read this eccentric and intriguing satire on modern American attitudes to what would, centuries ago, have been considered saintly behaviour by a sensitive and considerate human being. An indictment of aspects of the American Dream and general way of life
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on 12 October 2013
Having read other books by Kurt Vonnegut , this I was looking forward to and didn't disappoint. The story was good and moved along at a good pace compared to slaughter house 5 this is a better story . Will be reading more
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on 26 August 2011
This is not so much a novel as such, as a satire or a fable. That is to say: it's not a book concerned with coherent plotting, character development, or with bringing to life a concreted picture of an imagined world. But it is a very effective attack on unearned wealth in 1960s USA - whether in the person of the half-eccentric, half-mad, central figure of Eliot Rosewater (obsessed with local fire brigades and a man who spends much of his life in institutions, when not doing good in the world by giving away money) or the less likeable figures of his father, the lawyer who decides to prove him mad, or the other rich people in the book. Unexpected turns abound, including quotations from the work of an imaginary science fiction author, Kilgore Trout, and a history of the fire-bombing of Dresden, paving the way for Vonnegut's next book, Slaughterhouse Five. Vonnegut has a point - and he makes it very convincingly and in considerable style. Just don't expect the normal rewards of a novel!
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