I picked up a copy of Breakfast of Champions many, many, many years ago. I read it on a train traveling across Europe – drinking wine, meeting new people and exploring cities. It made me feel far away from Indianapolis and in a way, it felt good. He was unlike any author I had ever read.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that Kurt Vonnegut was from Indianapolis. From that point on, I took immense pride in associating Indianapolis with Kurt Vonnegut. Indiana can stake claim to some pretty famous people – Steve McQueen, James Dean, Florence Henderson….but come on, Kurt Vonnegut! Pretty cool.
Breakfast of Champions was the first Vonnegut book I read, but the rest of his work followed quickly. I’m happy to recommend many of them to you, but I still consider Breakfast of Champions, Slaughterhouse-Five and The Sirens of Titan as my favorites. I would love to hear yours.
This post isn’t really a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. Lots of people have written better tributes, and a quick google search will reveal plenty, but here is a pretty nice video tribute.
I really connect with a lot of Vonnegut quotes (see blog title). And in terms of kindness, I wanted to once again thank my office neighbor at the IMA (and future IMA blogger), Anne Laker, who was in the middle of organizing an event with Kurt Vonnegut and his artist collaborator Joe Petro last spring. The program instead became a tribute event that was touching and thoughtful. Anne, knowing I was big fan, gave me Kurt Vonnegut’s signed IMA contract as a gift. It hangs in my office and serves as reminder to many things – picking up Breakfast of Champions for the first time, being a humanist, his humor, insight, and creativity and, that he made Indianapolis proud.
Blogs are supposed to be about participation – so what I really hope happens here, is that in the spirit of online participation – you will share some of your favorite Vonnegut books, stories, or quotes.
I really would love to read them and I’m sure others would too.
And finally, has anyone heard Tock Tick? If not, you should!