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19 April 2009 @ 08:45 pm
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

What this book proves is that a conceit is just that - a conceit. Not a sustainable plot for a book.

Skag hoped to force his country into making laws against excessively large families, but the legislatures and the courts declined to meet the problem head-on. They passed stern laws instead against the possession by unmarried people of chicken soup.

"I can't tell if you're serious or not," said the driver.
"I won't know myself until I find out whether life is serious or not," said Trout. "It's dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean it's serious, too."

We had tortured circles until they coughed up this symbol of their secret lives: ∏

I hated maths, incidentally.

However, as the book went on I started to get seriously uncomfortable about the racist overtones. Okay, this book was published in the seventies, but I don't think even at that point white people had the right to use the N-word any more. I think they never will. The appropriation of words that were formerly (or are currently) derogative by those whom they were used against is something I applaud, but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to use the N-word or be happy about some smug white dude doing it. Once that started happening it ruined the book for me - not that it wasn't ruining itself anyway, what with how it changed from something vaguely meaningful to something deeply stupid.

Also, it has nothing to do with either cereal OR martinis.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope
The Bostonians, Henry James
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger
The Outsider, Albert Camus
The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot
The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope
Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans
Villette, Charlotte Bronte
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler
Cecilia, Fanny Burney
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark