10.22.2011

Armageddon in Retrospect

The hardbound copy has a cool Panzer Tank drawing etched on the cover after you remove the white dust jacket. The dusk jacket or the main cover here is decent enough with Kurt's trademark doodle of his own face. You might be wondering why the hell did I ever give a damn about book covers and I'm going to answer back that it's because Kurt Vonnegut was also an artist. He may be a world-renowned artist of the written form but he was also a dabbler of the visual form.

This is my second Vonnegut read, the first is the science fiction Sirens of Titan and I can't wait to finally read his classic, signature novel Slaughterhouse Five soon.

Reading Kurt Vonnegut's "Armageddon in Retrospect" this week is perfect, given that Moammar Gadhafi has been captured and eventually slain two nights ago, and 19 Philippine soldiers were killed in a firefight with MILF rebels here. If Kurt was alive today, he will be more depressed. Depressed for being right. Only small battles have their endings, but not war. As long as people know hate and tolerates violence, there's no ending. As long as man continue to destroy his fellow men and as much as man is capable of hate and supidity, War will never end.

This book is basically against war. Kurt's WWII experience in Dresden is heavily and directly used in his allegories including the retelling of how humanity struggled in that age. This collection of short stories mirrors his lifetime commentary against international policymakers who continue to qualify the necessity of killing each other (especially children and women) for the sake of economic gains and less for the sake of freedom.

As a reader, you might expect that Kurt Vonnegut's anti war stance will be expressed in a serious commentary, but it was never like that.  He wrote it smartly with sarcasm and dry humor, the way his loyal followers love his style of writing.

There's also a glimpse of sentimentality with Mark Vonnegut's introduction for his father's work here that any son who just miss his father can easily relate to. Published posthumously, this collection is the latest and probably the last for Kurt. But the war against War ironically, rages on...


Genre: Anti War Lit, Short Stories, WWII
Rating: 3.5 Panzer Tanks out of 5

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