He later stated that the loss of confidence in government that Vietnam caused finally allowed for an honest conversation regarding events like Dresden. After Slaughterhouse-Five was published, Vonnegut embraced the fame and financial security that attended its release. He was hailed as a hero of the burgeoning anti-war movement in the United States, was invited to speak at numerous rallies, and gave college commencement addresses around the country. Receiving mixed reviews, it closed on March 14, In , Universal Pictures adapted Slaughterhouse-Five into a film which the author said was "flawless".
Meanwhile, Vonnegut's personal life was disintegrating. His wife Jane had embraced Christianity, which was contrary to Vonnegut's atheistic beliefs, and with five of their six children having left home, Vonnegut said the two were forced to find "other sorts of seemingly important work to do.
Vonnegut called the disagreements "painful", and said the resulting split was a "terrible, unavoidable accident that we were ill-equipped to understand. When he stopped taking the drug in the mids, he began to see a psychologist weekly. When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be if Earth could say, in a voice floating up perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon, "It is done.
Vonnegut's difficulties materialized in numerous ways; most distinctly though, was the painfully slow progress he was making on his next novel, the darkly comical Breakfast of Champions.
In , Vonnegut stopped writing the novel altogether. Hischak's book American Literature on Stage and Screen , Breakfast of Champions was called "funny and outlandish", but reviewers noted that it "lacks substance and seems to be an exercise in literary playfulness. In The New York Times 's review of Slapstick , Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said Vonnegut "seems to be putting less effort into [storytelling] than ever before", and that "it still seems as if he has given up storytelling after all.
In , Vonnegut married Jill Krementz , a photographer whom he met while she was working on a series about writers in the early s. With Jill, he adopted a daughter, Lily, when the baby was three days old. Vonnegut was 84 years old. When asked about the impact Vonnegut had on his work, author Josip Novakovich stated that he has "much to learn from Vonnegut—how to compress things and yet not compromise them, how to digress into history, quote from various historical accounts, and not stifle the narrative.
The ease with which he writes is sheerly masterly, Mozartian. Vonnegut has inspired numerous posthumous tributes and works. The Library of America published a compendium of Vonnegut's compositions between and the following April, and another compendium of his earlier works in Shields 's And So It Goes.
According to The Guardian , the book portrays Vonnegut as distant, cruel and nasty. Vonnegut's works have evoked ire on several occasions. His most prominent novel, Slaughterhouse-Five , has been objected to or removed at various institutions in at least 18 instances. Pico , the United States Supreme Court ruled that a school district's ban on Slaughterhouse-Five —which the board had called "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy"—and eight other novels was unconstitutional.
When a school board in Republic, Missouri decided to withdraw Vonnegut's novel from its libraries, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library offered a free copy to all the students of the district. Tally, writing in , suggests that Vonnegut has only recently become the subject of serious study rather than fan adulation, and much is yet to be written about him.
We know he's worth reading. Now tell us things we don't know. Davis notes that Vonnegut's work is kept alive by his loyal readers, who have "significant influence as they continue to purchase Vonnegut's work, passing it on to subsequent generations and keeping his entire canon in print—an impressive list of more than twenty books that [Dell Publishing] has continued to refurbish and hawk with new cover designs.
Morse notes that Vonnegut, "is now firmly, if somewhat controversially, ensconced in the American and world literary canon as well as in high school, college and graduate curricula". Vonnegut's 14 novels, while each does its own thing, together are nevertheless experiments in the same overall project.
Experimenting with the form of the American novel itself, Vonnegut engages in a broadly modernist attempt to apprehend and depict the fragmented, unstable, and distressing bizarreries of postmodern American experience That he does not actually succeed in representing the shifting multiplicities of that social experience is beside the point. What matters is the attempt, and the recognition that The asteroid Vonnegut is named in his honor.
In the introduction to Slaughterhouse-Five Vonnegut recounts meeting filmmaker Harrison Starr at a party who asked him whether his forthcoming book was an anti-war novel — "I guess" replied Vonnegut.
Starr responded "Why don't you write an anti-glacier novel? This underlined Vonnegut's belief that wars were, unfortunately, inevitable, but that it was important to ensure the wars one fought were just wars. In , NPR wrote, "Kurt Vonnegut's blend of anti-war sentiment and satire made him one of the most popular writers of the s. Bush administration led him to write A Man Without a Country. Slaughterhouse-Five is the Vonnegut novel best known for its antiwar themes, but the author expressed his beliefs in ways beyond the depiction of the destruction of Dresden.
He has one character, Mary O'Hare, opine that "wars were partly encouraged by books and movies", made by " Frank Sinatra or John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men". Nuclear war , or at least deployed nuclear arms , is mentioned in almost all of Vonnegut's novels. In Player Piano , the computer EPICAC is given control of the nuclear arsenal, and is charged with deciding whether to use high-explosive or nuclear arms.
In Cat's Cradle , John's original purpose in setting pen to paper was to write an account of what prominent Americans had been doing as Hiroshima was bombed. Vonnegut was an atheist and a humanist , serving as the honorary president of the American Humanist Association. In his autobiographical work Palm Sunday , Vonnegut says he is a "Christ-worshipping agnostic";  in a speech to the Unitarian Universalist Association , he called himself a "Christ-loving atheist".
However, he was keen to stress that he was not a Christian. Vonnegut was an admirer of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount , particularly the Beatitudes , and incorporated it into his own doctrines.
He despised the televangelists of the late 20th century, feeling that their thinking was narrow-minded. Religion features frequently in Vonnegut's work, both in his novels and elsewhere. He laced a number of his speeches with religion-focused rhetoric,   and was prone to using such expressions as "God forbid" and "thank God".
Kevorkian , Vonnegut goes to heaven after he is euthanized by Dr. Once in heaven, he interviews 21 deceased celebrities, including Isaac Asimov , William Shakespeare , and Kilgore Trout —the last a fictional character from several of his novels. Slaughterhouse-Five sees Billy Pilgrim, lacking religion himself, nevertheless become a chaplain's assistant in the military and display a large crucifix on his bedroom wall.
Vonnegut did not particularly sympathize with liberalism or conservatism , and mused on the specious simplicity of American politics. If you are against those perversions and for the rich, you're a conservative. What could be simpler? The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead. Vonnegut disregarded more mainstream political ideologies in favor of socialism , which he thought could provide a valuable substitute for what he saw as social Darwinism and a spirit of " survival of the fittest " in American society,  believing that "socialism would be a good for the common man".
As long as there is a criminal element, I'm of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free. Vonnegut's writing was inspired by an eclectic mix of sources. When he was younger, Vonnegut stated that he read works of pulp fiction , science fiction, fantasy, and action-adventure.
He also read the Classics , like those of Aristophanes. Aristophanes, like Vonnegut, wrote humorous critiques of contemporary society. Both shared pessimistic outlooks on humanity, and a skeptical take on religion, and, as Vonnegut put it, were both "associated with the enemy in a major war", as Twain briefly enlisted in the South's cause during the American Civil War , and Vonnegut's German name and ancestry connected him with the United States' enemy in both world wars.
Vonnegut called George Orwell his favorite writer, and admitted that he tried to emulate Orwell. Vonnegut commented that Robert Louis Stevenson 's stories were emblems of thoughtfully put together works that he tried to mimic in his own compositions. She took short-story courses at night. She studied magazines the way gamblers study racing forms. Early on in his career, Vonnegut decided to model his style after Henry David Thoreau , who wrote as if from the perspective of a child, allowing Thoreau's works to be more widely comprehensible.
Wells , and satirist Jonathan Swift. Vonnegut credited newspaper magnate H. Mencken for inspiring him to become a journalist. Sharp describes Vonnegut's linguistic style as straightforward; his sentences concise, his language simple, his paragraphs brief, and his ordinary tone conversational. He credited his time as a journalist for his ability, pointing to his work with the Chicago City News Bureau, which required him to convey stories in telephone conversations.
Vonnegut believed that ideas, and the convincing communication of those ideas to the reader, were vital to literary art. He did not always sugarcoat his points: The large artificial families that the U. Kunze suggest that Vonnegut was not a " black humorist ", but a "frustrated idealist" who used "comic parables" to teach the reader absurd, bitter or hopeless truths, with his grim witticisms serving to make the reader laugh rather than cry. Vonnegut's works have, at various times, been labeled science fiction, satire and postmodern.
In several of his books, Vonnegut imagines alien societies and civilizations, as is common in works of science fiction. Vonnegut does this to emphasize or exaggerate absurdities and idiosyncrasies in our own world. However, literary theorist Robert Scholes noted in Fabulation and Metafiction that Vonnegut "reject[s] the traditional satirist's faith in the efficacy of satire as a reforming instrument.
Postmodernism often entails a response to the theory that the truths of the world will be discovered through science. They often use unreliable , first-person narration , and narrative fragmentation. One critic has argued that Vonnegut's most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five , features a metafictional , Janus-headed outlook as it seeks both to represent actual historical events while problematizing the very notion of doing exactly that.
This is encapsulated in the opening lines of the novel: The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. Vonnegut was a vocal critic of the society in which he lived, and this was reflected in his writings.
Several key social themes recur in Vonnegut's works, such as wealth, the lack of it, and its unequal distribution among a society. In The Sirens of Titan , the novel's protagonist, Malachi Constant, is exiled to one of Saturn 's moons, Titan , as a result of his vast wealth, which has made him arrogant and wayward. Rosewater , readers may find it difficult to determine whether the rich or the poor are in worse circumstances as the lives of both groups' members are ruled by their wealth or their poverty.
Debs and Vonnegut's socialist views. A Critical Companion , Thomas F. He points out that social Darwinism leads to a society that condemns its poor for their own misfortune, and fails to help them out of their poverty because "they deserve their fate".
In Slaughterhouse-Five and Timequake the characters have no choice in what they do; in Breakfast of Champions , characters are very obviously stripped of their free will and even receive it as a gift; and in Cat's Cradle , Bokononism views free will as heretical. The majority of Vonnegut's characters are estranged from their actual families and seek to build replacement or extended families. For example, the engineers in Player Piano called their manager's spouse "Mom".
In Cat's Cradle , Vonnegut devises two separate methods for loneliness to be combated: A "karass", which is a group of individuals appointed by God to do his will, and a " granfalloon ", defined by Marvin as a "meaningless association of people, such as a fraternal group or a nation".
Fear of the loss of one's purpose in life is a theme in Vonnegut's works. The Great Depression forced Vonnegut to witness the devastation many people felt when they lost their jobs, and while at General Electric, Vonnegut witnessed machines being built to take the place of human labor. He confronts these things in his works through references to the growing use of automation and its effects on human society.
This is most starkly represented in his first novel, Player Piano , where many Americans are left purposeless and unable to find work as machines replace human workers. Suicide by fire is another common theme in Vonnegut's works; the author often returns to the theory that "many people are not fond of life.
He also uses this theme to demonstrate the recklessness of those who put powerful, apocalypse-inducing devices at the disposal of politicians.
When one of Vonnegut's characters, Kilgore Trout, finds the question "What is the purpose of life? Unless otherwise cited, items in this list are taken from Thomas F. Marvin's book Kurt Vonnegut: A Critical Companion , and the date in brackets is the date the work was first published: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses with the name Vonnegut, see Vonnegut disambiguation. Satire Gallows humor Science fiction. Jane Marie Cox m. Vonnegut's sincerity, his willingness to scoff at received wisdom, is such that reading his work for the first time gives one the sense that everything else is rank hypocrisy.
His opinion of human nature was low, and that low opinion applied to his heroes and his villains alike — he was endlessly disappointed in humanity and in himself, and he expressed that disappointment in a mixture of tar-black humor and deep despair.
He could easily have become a crank, but he was too smart; he could have become a cynic, but there was something tender in his nature that he could never quite suppress; he could have become a bore, but even at his most despairing he had an endless willingness to entertain his readers: Like Mark Twain, Mr.
Vonnegut used humor to tackle the basic questions of human existence: Why are we in this world? Is there a presiding figure to make sense of all this, a god who in the end, despite making people suffer, wishes them well?
Some of you may know that I am neither Christian nor Jewish nor Buddhist, nor a conventionally religious person of any sort. I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead.
I would just as soon be a rattlesnake. I've heard the Vonnegut voice described as "manic depressive", and there's certainly something to this. It has an incredible amount of energy married to a very deep and dark sense of despair. It's frequently over-the-top, and scathingly satirical, but it never strays too far from pathos — from an immense sympathy for society's vulnerable, oppressed and powerless. But, then, it also contains a huge allotment of warmth.
Most of the time, reading Kurt Vonnegut feels more like being spoken to by a very close friend. There's an inclusiveness to his writing that draws you in, and his narrative voice is seldom absent from the story for any length of time. Usually, it's right there in the foreground — direct, involving and extremely idiosyncratic. He also stated the Depression and its effects incited pessimism towards the validity of the American Dream.
He dismissed his son's desired areas of study as "junk jewellery", and persuaded his son against following in his footsteps. Retrieved 2 December Interviewed by Michael Silverblatt. Retrieved October 6, University of South Carolina Press. Retrieved July 17, American author who combined satiric social commentary with surrealist and science fictional elements" Archived at the Wayback Machine.. Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
Retrieved September 10, Aurum Press Quarto Group. Retrieved 13 October Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Archived from the original on January 18, Retrieved August 14, Banach, Je April 11, Retrieved August 13, Interviews from the Progressive Magazine. The New York Times. Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History.
Guru of the counterculture whose science fiction novel Slaughterhouse-Five , inspired by his survival of the Dresden bombings, became an anti-war classic". The Saturday Evening Post. Archived from the original on December 9, State University of New York Press. Extence, Gavin June 25, Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut: In Tally, Robert T.
The first chapter of Slaughterhouse-Five is written in the style of an author's preface about how he came to write the novel. The Narrator begins the novel by telling of his connection to the Dresden bombing, and why he is recording it. He gives a description of himself, and the book, saying that it is a desperate attempt at scholarly work.
He segues to the story of Billy Pilgrim: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time," thus the transition from the writer's perspective to that of the third-person, omniscient Narrator. The use of "Listen" as an opening interjection mimics the epic poem Beowulf.
The Narrator introduces Slaughterhouse-Five with the novel's genesis and ends the first chapter by discussing the beginning and the end of the novel. The fictional "story" appears to begin in chapter two, although there is no reason to presume that the first chapter is not fiction. This technique is common to postmodern meta-fiction.
Vonnegut's writing usually contains such disorder. He apologizes for the novel being "so short and jumbled and jangled," but says "there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. The Narrator reports that Billy Pilgrim experiences his life discontinuously, so that he randomly lives and re-lives his birth, youth, old age, and death, rather than in customary linear order.
There are two narrative threads: Billy's wartime period interrupted with episodes from other periods and places in his life , which is mostly linear, and his discontinuous pre-war and post-war lives. Billy's existential perspective was compromised by his witnessing Dresden's destruction, although he had come "unstuck in time" before arriving in the city. The first sentence says: The Narrator notes this saying: That was the author of this book. Kilgore Trout, whom Billy Pilgrim meets operating a newspaper delivery business, can be seen as Vonnegut's alter ego, though the two differ in some respects.
Trout's career as a science-fiction novelist is checkered with thieving publishers, and the fictional author is unaware of his readership. One major philosophy presented in Vonnegut's novel is Christianity. Billy Pilgrim experiences and applies these principles. Although the novel discusses the philosophies of Christianity, it presents a different sort of Christ figure or a different personality to the one that already exists.
The role of religion in the life of Billy Pilgrim is a key point in Slaughterhouse-Five. Toward the beginning of the novel the narrator states that Pilgrim started out in the Second World War as a chaplain's assistant "and had a meek faith in a loving Jesus which most soldiers found putrid. Trout's fictional novel within Slaughterhouse-Five explores the journey of a visitor from outer space who studies Christianity to determine "why Christians found it so easy to be cruel.
Taking some of Trout's novel to heart, the narrator and Billy Pilgrim look to create a new sense of Christianity and a more human-like Jesus.
The idea of the human-Jesus is a central piece in analyzing Pilgrim's eventual struggle with fate and free will. By establishing a Christian figure that is not initially divine in nature sets a completely different tone to the overall understanding of humanity's placement with God. Billy Pilgrim - Even More a Man of Our Time," Vanderwerken states that the narrator may be calling for a "humanly centered Christianity in which Jesus is a 'nobody' 94 , a 'bum' 95 , a man.
What Vonnegut suggests here is that Christ's divinity stands in the way of charity. If the "bum" is Everyman, then we are all adopted children of God; we are all Christs and should treat each other accordingly. This Jesus participates fully in the human condition. There is some question of Christ's divinity and how that plays a part in Christian principles and it is suggested that the voice in the novel desires a form of collectivism where humanity looks at one another as equal parts and equal heirs of God.
This human-Jesus argument within the novel stands as an effort to make humanity, whom Trout may consider to be "bums" and "nobodies," have more importance.
The narration's call for a more human-Jesus and Christianity is seen in the last part of the discussion on Trout's novel where God speaks from heaven stating, " From this moment on, He [God] will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections! The desire for a 'human' Jesus is not the only Biblical topic discussed in the novel. Another reference involves the story of Lot's wife disobeying and turning to look back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The narrator of that chapter, possibly seen as Vonnegut himself, claims that he loves Lot's wife doing so "because it was so human. Along with asking moral questions, Slaughterhouse-Five is also a novel that focuses on the philosophies of fate and free will.
In the novel, Billy Pilgrim tries to determine what his role in life is and what the purpose of everything going on around him is as well. When abducted by the Tralfamadorians, Pilgrim asks them why he is chosen among all the others.
He questions the fate of the situation and what led up to that point. Billy Pilgrim considers his fate and actions to be a part of a larger network of actions, his future manipulated by one thing over another based on decision. All things that happen would happen for a reason. Indeed, Pilgrim's beginning mindset would suggest that he believed in free will, fate, whys, decisions and things happening for reasons.
However, many of these thoughts are quickly challenged by the Tralfamadorians' ideology. As Billy Pilgrim becomes "unstuck in time", he is faced with a new type of philosophy.
When Pilgrim becomes acquainted with the Tralfamadorians, he learns a different viewpoint concerning fate and free will.
While Christianity may state that fate and free will are matters of God's divine choice and human interaction, Tralfamadorianism would disagree. According to Tralfamadorian philosophy, things are and always will be, and there is nothing that can change them. When Billy asks why they had chosen him , the Tralfamadorians reply, "Why you?
Why us for that matter? Because this moment simply is. Things happen because they were always destined to be happening. The narrator of the story explains that the Tralfamadorians see time all at once.
This concept of time is best explained by the Tralfamadorians themselves, as they speak to Billy Pilgrim on the matter stating, "I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change.
It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. To this, the Tralfamadorian reply that free will is a concept that, out of the "visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe" and "studied reports on one hundred more",  exists solely on Earth.
Using the Tralfamadorian passivity of fate, Billy Pilgrim learns to overlook death and the shock involved with death. Pilgrim claims the Tralfamadorian philosophy on death to be his most important lesson:. The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes. Billy Pilgrim continues throughout the novel to use the term "so it goes" as it relates to death.
The ideas behind death, fate, time, and free will are drastically different when compared to those of Christianity. Tralfamadorian philosophy did not appear ex nihilo , but draws on many strands of thought. The idea of all time existing at once as the Tralfamadorians experience it can be found in sources ranging from Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy e.
Parmenides ' monism  to Neo-Classical Christian theology e. Sir Thomas Browne 's Religio Medici to twentieth century popular science e. As in other novels by Vonnegut, certain characters cross over from other stories , making cameo appearances and connecting the discrete novels to a greater opus.
Fictional novelist Kilgore Trout , often an important character in other Vonnegut novels, in Slaughterhouse-Five is a social commentator and a friend to Billy Pilgrim. In one case, he is the only non- optometrist at a party, therefore, he is the odd-man-out. In Trout's opinion, people do not know if the things they do turn out to be good or bad, and if they turn out to be bad, they go to Hell, where "the burning never stops hurting. Rosewater ; Howard W. While Vonnegut re-uses characters, the characters are frequently rebooted and do not necessarily maintain the same biographical details from appearance to appearance.
Kilgore Trout in particular is palpably a different person although with distinct, consistent character traits in each of his appearances in Vonnegut's work. Rosewater says that Fyodor Dostoyevsky 's novel The Brothers Karamazov contains "everything there was to know about life.
As Wilfrid Sheed has pointed out, Billy's solution to the problems of the modern world is to "invent a heaven, out of 20th century materials, where Good Technology triumphs over Bad Technology. His scripture is Science Fiction, Man's last, good fantasy". Slaughterhouse-Five speaks of the fire- bombing of Dresden in World War II , and refers to the Battle of the Bulge , the Vietnam War , and the civil rights protests in American cities during the s.
Billy's wife, Valencia, has a "Reagan for President! Another bumper sticker is mentioned that says "Impeach Earl Warren ". Vonnegut was beaten and imprisoned in this building as a POW, and it is because of the meat locker in the building's basement that he and Billy survived the fire-bombing; the site is largely intact and protected. The Serenity Prayer appears twice. The reviews of Slaughterhouse-Five have been largely positive since the March 31, review in The New York Times newspaper that stated: In , the Modern Library ranked Slaughterhouse-Five eighteenth on its list of the best English-language novels of the 20th century.
It also appeared in Time magazine's list of the best English-language novels written since Slaughterhouse-Five has been the subject of many attempts at censorship due to its irreverent tone, purportedly obscene content and depictions of sex, American soldiers' use of profanity, and perceived heresy.
It was one of the first literary acknowledgments that homosexual men, referred to in the novel as "fairies," were among the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. In the United States it has at times been banned from literature classes, removed from school libraries , and struck from literary curricula.
Supreme Court considered the First Amendment implications of the removal of the book, among others, from public school libraries in the case of Island Trees School District v.
Pico , U. The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library countered by offering free copies of the novel to Republic High School students on a first come, first served basis. Critics have accused Slaughterhouse-Five of being a quietist work, because Billy Pilgrim believes that the notion of free will is a quaint Earthling illusion.
Scholl, is that "Vonnegut's critics seem to think that he is saying the same thing [as the Tralfamadorians]. For Anthony Burgess , " Slaughterhouse is a kind of evasion—in a sense, like J. Barrie 's Peter Pan —in which we're being told to carry the horror of the Dresden bombing, and everything it implies, up to a level of fantasy He likes to say, with arch fatalism, citing one horror after another, 'So it goes.
Find some of Vonnegut’s greatest writing advice, plucked from interviews, essays, and elsewhere, below—but first, find some of Vonnegut’s greatest life advice right here: “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”.
Watch video · Kurt Vonnegut was an American author best known for the novels Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions. Born on November 11, , in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kurt Vonnegut is.
Despite passing away in , Kurt Vonnegut remains a giant in the American speculative fiction tradition. His writing is both poignant and politically charged, with masterpieces like the anti-war Slaughterhouse-Five and the surreal Cat’s Cradle. There’s a good chance you read some of his work. Kurt Vonnegut’s formal education was in biochemistry and, in the peculiar way typical of him, he also obtained a Master’s degree in anthropology.
8 Rules for Writing Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it is only a. As affable and loquacious as he was, Kurt Vonnegut disliked interviews. In Palm Sunday, he mentions his distaste for the process itself, of being subjected to an interviewer's desperate attempts.