27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
You'll Love These Letters!,
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This review is from: Kurt Vonnegut: Letters (Hardcover)
It's rare that a book's introduction makes me speak out loud while reading. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't reading aloud. I just found myself saying "Wow" and "Huh!" and "I didn't know that!" out loud, to myself, as I read this beautiful book. As an artist, I found the cover photo and art and even the fonts of the chapter headings both stunning and a fond visit back to the Seventies. But as a reader, and a passionate re-reader of writers I love, I was intrigued and fascinated by the introduction- written with passionate restraint by Dan Wakefield.
Honestly? I rarely read more than one page of book introductions, as they usually reveal more about the writer of the Introduction than the person the Introducer is introducing. But this is happily not the case with Dan Wakefield. I love Wakefield's books, especially "Expect A Miracle" and "Spiritually Incorrect." Actually, now that I think about it, I probably only began to read this Introduction because it was written by Dan Wakefield! His clear, concise and empathetic prose informed me deeply about Kurt Vonnegut and his influences, his family and his artistic struggles to have his iconic and iconoclastic voice published and read.
In fact, a unique and welcome addition to this book is the introduction of each era of letters- which smartly and helpfully places us in the context of Vonnegut's life when he wrote the letters and to whom he was writing. It's such a simple technique but begs the question of why this isn't done more with published letters of notable people... and in this book the chapter introductions serve to create more comprehension of Vonnegut's life and how he dealt with family, friends, associates, success and disappointment. Not only did I feel I was learning so much more about Vonnegut, in almost a biographical way, but this book served to make me want to hunt down a biography of Vonnegut-- but only if it's as well written as this one.
The mark of a good book is one that inspires me to read more. Kurt Vonnegut's Letters not only makes me want to read more Vonnegut but it also makes me want to go back and re-read my treasured Dan Wakefield books.
Great winter read. Stay inside, get cozy on a couch under a blanket and disappear into the mind of a great man as commemorated by another great man.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 20, 2012 3:22:59 PM PST
What a mouth watering review. I want to read on! Thank you Lena Rivkin for inspiring me to get this book.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 8:14:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012 6:15:24 AM PST
Yep, ordered it today because of this review. I would ask you to let me borrow your book, but KV would disapprove. Never trust a man that borrows a book.
Ok, just finished the book, and thank you for the review, it was spot on.
Posted on Dec 27, 2012 2:11:39 PM PST
Thomas Pynchon says:
I'm a Vonnegut nut so I would have purchased this book anyway, but Lena you have saved me the time and effort of posting a review -- because you have summed up my feelings about this book perfectly. Thanks.
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