Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: The Year of Vonnegut

Novelist, playwright, satirist, humanist, all around pugnacious prattler, and clown prince of gallows humour, one Mr. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., would be turning 92 in the year 2014.  Well, if he wasn't already dead, he would be turning 92 this new year, but since he died in 2007, at age 84, one supposes a thing like that will not actually be happening.  So it goes.  But not to fear my intrepid lackies, for I plan on keeping the dead ole bastard alive for at least another year.  No no, I'm not planning on any sort of Frankensteinian experimenting here.  It's as simple a thing as reading all of Vonnegut in the year 2014.  That's right ladies and germs, I am going to read all of Vonnegut, from beginning to end, starting on January 1st, 2014 - which, if you happen to be reading this post on the day I originally posted it, is tomorrow.  If you are reading this at a later date, I say to the future you, what the hell took ya so damn long!?  But I digress.

Actually, as a reader of fiction, I have been a pretty big slacker for the last decade or so.  Sure, at one time, I read rather voraciously.  Hell, I even went to school for it.  But lo this past decade or so, my reading has consisted mainly of film-related books, my beloved comics, and an array of online nick-nacks and doo-dads, and pollywog-a-doodles - or should I say Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons.  Trust me, all the Vonnegut fans in the room are laughing their collective asses off right now.  But again, I digress.  As I was blathering on about (god, this guy likes to here himself talk, huh?) my fiction reading has kinda taken the proverbial nosedive, and I aim to fix that in 2014 - beginning with one of my great literary loves of the past.  You see, once upon a time, when I was still an avid reader of fiction, the Indianapolis born Vonnegut was one of my faves.  I was even lucky enough to meet the guy once, back in 1997, after a lecture he gave near my hometown.  But alas, it has been many a year since I picked up one of Vonnegut's books, and that ends tomorrow dammit!

As I said, I will be reading, or in most cases, re-reading the author in chronological order.  Well, in semi-chronological order at least.  Since all of his short stories have been collected in one or another short story collection, I am not going to be doing all the back-and-forth of reading all of these from the beginning (I am lazy after all), opting instead to read the aforementioned collections wherever they happen to fit into the whole chronological scheme of things.  The one exception is my reading choice for day one, aka January 1st, 2014.  On that day, I will take an eye to the writer's very first published work - a short story called "Report on the Barnhouse Effect," and originally published in Collier's Weekly on February 11th, 1950.  After that I will move on to the first novel, Player Piano, followed by Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, and so on and so on (and so on) until Sucker's Portfolio, published posthumously just this past year. 

Will I write about my 2014 Vonnegut adventures?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  How's that for some solid information?  Seriously though, we'll see how things go, but chances are rather good that you will be seeing some reviews (or some such kind of thing) on some, if not all (but probably just some - remember, I am kinda lazy after all), of the books I will be tackling throughout the year.  For now, let's just leave it at that, and power on.  Time to get to reading that crazy old bastard.  To close with the obvious (and the Vonnegutheads in the room know what I'm talkin' 'bout) - hi ho.  Really, that's it for now.  See ya 'round the web.


  1. Debut short story down. Now onto first novel, Player Piano. The Year of Vonnegut is underway.

  2. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to reading we go. Cat's Cradle and Slapstick are my faves.