Not Forgotten

I didn’t forget about the Vonnegut Marathon. Not at all. I finished Mother Night on Thursday, but I was too busy on Friday to blog about it. It’s not the kind of book that you read, breezily comment on, and then forget.

Grade: A

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Sirens of Titan, which is why it got an A rather than an A+. Where Sirens was like a long, amazing acid trip with an ultimate purpose, Mother Night was like the short, sober day after. Don’t get me wrong. I liked it, but it’s a book in which the Nazis figure largely, making it very dark and more reality-based than I sometimes care for, escapist reader than I am.

Mother Night was completely different from all of the other Vonnegut books that I’ve ever read, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to find that he has another side. Some authors just get into a mode and then write all of their books the same way. This is possibly his most universally likable work because it doesn’t fall into the sci-fi genre, a genre which I happen to enjoy but which does not seem to have mass appeal.

My one complaint with the book is that every once in a while the main character’s words do not ring true. They sound not like his opinions, but the opinions of the author, forced upon the character in order to get them into the book.

Overall it’s a good read. There are some great passages and I hope to share some of them later. For now, I want to think some more about the moral of the story, as stated by the author in the introduction: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Have you ever thought about that? Are there ways in which you purposefully misrepresent yourself to the world? And if you pretend well enough and consistently fool everyone, then does that facade become the real you?

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