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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


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Tom E.

I felt as if I had lost a friend when I read the obit this morning. Reading Slaughter-house Five is one of my clearest high school memories. I may go around calling everyone "dear" just like Elliot Rosewater. I'll probably lose my job and be escorted off the premises here by the police. So it goes.

Mr. Vonnegut suffered irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago, according to his wife, Jill Krementz.

After all those Pall Malls? You have to believe that he'd have appreciated the irony.


So it goes.

Don't really know where I would have been had I not found "Deadeye Dick," "The Sirens of Titan," "Breakfast of Champions," and of course "Slaughterhouse Five" in my late high school and college years. And so many other of his brilliant and seminal books. And I'd rather not think about it.

Not many could make minimalist style sing the way Kurt Vonnegut could. Raymond Carver was one, surely Papa Hemingway before him, and not many others. And no one could do it with Vonnegut's crazy, razor-sharp humor and eye for detail. An American original.

"Don't ask me why, old sport, but somebody up there likes you." I have the feeling he is learning today that those words were, indeed, 100 percent true.

Goodbye, Kilgore.

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