I can't recommend this book more, well more than I am recommending it now!
I started reading it at just past midnight and it's now 5 am and I've just finished it. Couldn't put it down. Funny, wry and just a fantastic read. The author pulls no punches as he describes his life battling his mental illness while thrashing through his medical education and career.
I have given it 4 stars not 5 because it kept me from sleeping and now I am flipping shattered. It is a 'must read'.
what a nice man! loved getting to know him and his refreshing clear and understandable description of mental illness. always loved his fathers books. especially liked his description of the giant fungus and its potential sentience as such an old and enormous creature stretching across states and countries. hilarious and fascinating read.
After reading Mark Vonnegut's first book (The Eden...) i wanted to know what was going on with this man. What follows was this book, which is VERY disappointing. Poorly written, full of nonsense, an establishment man who wanted to be a 'Harvard MD' to re-assure himself, so people can say: How important is Mark Vonnegut....he is not only Kurt's son....
But Mark is making money from this type of silly and boring stories, and of course, using his 'vonnegut's surname to be published.
Potential reader: Save your money, do not buy this book. It is very boring, and silly, and ....and...full of nothing.
Mark Vonnegut: one of your critics was right: with your surname you have to do better. But do not worry Mark, you can live forever from dad's books . Sad
The first two thirds of this book read like you might dream: the creativity and humanity of Kurt Vonnegut but expressed by a new and contemporary voice. It's a memoir of Mark's life, not Kurt's so there isn't much of interest about what it was like to be fathered by Kurt, and that's fair because the Kurt the public know - the writer - didn't really exist until his son was old enough to leave home. Nonetheless Mark ambles through his difficult childhood, the hippy ideals of his early adulthood, his breakdown and the familiar but irresistibly interesting story of a student doctor's ideals hitting actual experience, all with the confidence regarding literary form and human suffering that made his father such a hit. For a hundred pages or so you feel the comfort of a kind intelligence honestly narrating how life seems. But then quite suddenly Vonnegut appears to lose interest. Whether he abandoned the project for a while and took it up again in a different mood, or whether the fear of wrapping up his wandering narrative got to him, it isn't clear, but the last third is a pretty lousy coda to the early sections. With not much to say about Kurt and not such a huge amount to say about mental illness either, the main joy of this book for a reader is thinking for a while that the spirit of Vonnegut lives. But be ready to realise well before the end that, sadly, Kurt is dead.