3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Flawed man; fascinating biography,
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This review is from: And So It Goes (Hardcover)
It's easy to confuse criticism of a biography with criticism of its subject. And Kurt Vonnegut doesn't come over as the kind hearted socialist that was often his persona. But didn't he himself say that he was a work of fiction? He does, however, come over as a flawed but talented, complex, rather melancholic and lonely man. He was often well-intentioned - not many people with three children and struggling financially would take in four more in the circumstances Vonnegut did - but equally often unable to meet the requirements of a real family life, and this contradiction is at the heart of the book.
I found it a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read, even if some of the revelations about the man were eye-openers. But he was a flawed human being, not the wise guru he was often painted - by fans probably too young to know better. In his place, I too would have got frustrated, trying to write for a living in a house with seven children. It's a shame that Vonnegut's second wife did not contribute to the book, and it's true that - as another reviewer has pointed out - she seems to suffer an awful lot of put-downs. (But maybe she was really like that??) I'm also surprised at the way Timequake is disparaged - like the other reviewer, I really liked this book!
It's obviously a must for Vonnegut fans, but bear in mind that you're reading about a real individual who suffered traumas most readers are not likely to experience; the 1960s/70s counterculture icon was not the real person.